Tuesday, 2 June 2020

We can be self-attentive in waking and dream but not in sleep

A friend recently wrote to me:

It seems to that “Self-Attention” as taught by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi is possible only when I am in the Waking State, and not when I am in the Sleeping State and in the Dreaming State. In that case, what do I have to do in the latter two states, according to the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi? If I cannot do anything in those two states, will that be a problem or should I take it that as long as I am doing “Self-Attention” correctly during the Waking State, that will be enough?
This article is adapted from the reply I wrote to this:
  1. What we now take to waking is just another dream, and so long as we are dreaming any dream we should try to be as keenly self-attentive as possible
  2. Sleep is a state of pure awareness, in which we know nothing other than ourself, so we need not and cannot be self-attentive in sleep
  3. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 13: if it is dissolved in sleep or any other state of laya, ego will rise again, but why?
  4. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 14: only by means of self-investigation will ego dissolve in pure awareness in such a way that it will never rise again
  5. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 16: being so keenly self-attentive that we thereby cease to be aware of anything else is real awareness
  6. Guru Vācaka Kōvai verse 957: if we experience sleep in waking, we will thereby experience sleep in dream
  7. Guru Vācaka Kōvai verse 958: in order to experience sleep throughout waking and dream, steadfastness in keenly attentive self-investigation is required
  8. Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ verse 16: until sleep pervades both waking and dream, incessantly persevere in being keenly self-attentive
1. What we now take to waking is just another dream, and so long as we are dreaming any dream we should try to be as keenly self-attentive as possible

We can be self-attentive just as well in dream as in waking, because what we now take to waking is just another dream. However, in some dreams our attachment to our dream body is less strong than in others, and such dreams are characterised by their instability: for example, one moment we are in one place and the next moment in another place, or we are talking with one person who suddenly becomes some other person. If we try to be self-attentive in such a dream, our self-attentiveness will generally bring that dream to an immediate end, because it will dissolve our weak attachment to that dream body, and consequently we will find ourself in another dream (either this current state that we now take to be waking or some other dream), or more rarely we will just fall asleep.

Because our attachment to our current body is relatively strong, it is not so easily dissolved by self-attentiveness, so this dream is generally not brought to an end as soon as we try to be self-attentive. This enables us to go deeper in self-attentiveness than we generally can in less stable dreams.

Our aim when trying to be self-attentive is not just to dissolve our current dream but to be aware of ourself as we actually are and thereby to dissolve forever the fundamental sleep of self-ignorance in which this and all other dreams appear. Therefore so long as we are dreaming, whatever type of dream it may be, we should try to be as keenly self-attentive as possible.

2. Sleep is a state of pure awareness, in which we know nothing other than ourself, so we need not and cannot be self-attentive in sleep

In the state we call sleep, which is an interlude between successive states of dream, we cannot be self-attentive, because what must try to be self-attentive is ego, which is absent in sleep. That is, attention is our ability to focus our awareness on one or some among many things that we are potentially aware of, so attention is a faculty of ourself as ego, because it is only when we rise and stand as ego that we are aware of many things.

Our real nature is pure awareness, in the clear view of which nothing other than ourself exists or even seems to exist, so as pure awareness we are never aware of anything other than ourself, and hence for pure awareness there is no such thing as attention. Therefore when we remain just as pure awareness, we need not and cannot be self-attentive, but whenever we rise and stand as ego, we should try to be so keenly self-attentive that we thereby cease to be aware of anything other than ourself, because this is the only means by which we can regain our natural state of pure awareness.

3. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 13: if it is dissolved in sleep or any other state of laya, ego will rise again, but why?

Though in sleep ego is dissolved in pure awareness, why is it not thereby destroyed? In other words, why does it rise again after being dissolved in pure awareness? Sleep is only a temporary dissolution of ego, because our subsidence in sleep is not brought about by keen self-attentiveness but only by tiredness, so from sleep we will sooner or later rise again as ego. Therefore Bhagavan says in verse 13 of Upadēśa Undiyār:
இலயமு நாச மிரண்டா மொடுக்க
மிலயித் துளதெழு முந்தீபற
      வெழாதுரு மாய்ந்ததே லுந்தீபற.

ilayamu nāśa miraṇḍā moḍukka
milayit tuḷadeṙu mundīpaṟa
      veṙāduru māyndadē lundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: இலயமும் நாசம் இரண்டு ஆம் ஒடுக்கம். இலயித்து உளது எழும். எழாது உரு மாய்ந்ததேல்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): ilayam-um nāśam iraṇḍu ām oḍukkam. ilayittu uḷadu eṙum. eṙādu uru māyndadēl.

அன்வயம்: ஒடுக்கம் இலயமும் நாசம் இரண்டு ஆம். இலயித்து உளது எழும். உரு மாய்ந்ததேல் எழாது.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): oḍukkam ilayam-um nāśam iraṇḍu ām. ilayittu uḷadu eṙum. uru māyndadēl eṙādu.

English translation: Dissolution is two: laya and nāśa. What is lying down will rise. If form dies, it will not rise.

Explanatory paraphrase: Dissolution [cessation or complete subsidence of ego or mind] is [of] two [kinds]: laya and nāśa. What is lying down [or dissolved in laya] will rise. If [its] form dies [in nāśa], it will not rise.
If manōlaya (temporary dissolution of mind) is brought about by tiredness, it is called sleep, whereas if it is brought about by other means it is called by other names such as swoon, coma or nirvikalpa samādhi, but from all such states we will sooner or later rise again as ego. In order to dissolve ego in pure awareness in such a way that it will never rise again, we need to dissolve it not merely by tiredness or any other means but only by keenly focused self-attentiveness.

4. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 14: only by means of self-investigation will ego dissolve in pure awareness in such a way that it will never rise again

That is, we as ego dissolve in pure awareness whenever our attention is withdrawn completely from all other things, namely all phenomena, but our dissolution will only be temporary unless we dissolve not merely by withdrawing our attention from all other things but by focusing our attention so keenly on ourself that we thereby withdraw it completely from all other things. Mere withdrawal of our attention from all other things (whether due to tiredness, shock, general anaesthesia, drugs, brain damage, yōga practices such as prāṇāyāma or meditation, or any means other than self-attentiveness) will result in manōlaya, from which we will rise again, whereas withdrawal of our attention from all other things by means of keenly focused self-attentiveness will result in manōnāśa (annihilation of mind), from which we will never rise again, as Bhagavan clearly implies in verse 14 of Upadēśa Undiyār:
ஒடுக்க வளியை யொடுங்கு முளத்தை
விடுக்கவே யோர்வழி யுந்தீபற
      வீயு மதனுரு வுந்தீபற.

oḍukka vaḷiyai yoḍuṅgu muḷattai
viḍukkavē yōrvaṙi yundīpaṟa
      vīyu madaṉuru vundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: ஒடுக்க வளியை ஒடுங்கும் உளத்தை விடுக்கவே ஓர் வழி, வீயும் அதன் உரு.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): oḍukka vaḷiyai oḍuṅgum uḷattai viḍukka-v-ē ōr vaṙi, vīyum adaṉ uru.

அன்வயம்: வளியை ஒடுக்க ஒடுங்கும் உளத்தை ஓர் வழி விடுக்கவே, அதன் உரு வீயும்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): vaḷiyai oḍukka oḍuṅgum uḷattai ōr vaṙi viḍukka-v-ē, adaṉ uru vīyum.

English translation: Only when one sends the mind, which becomes calm when one restrains the breath, on the investigating path will its form perish.
What he refers to in this verse as ‘ஓர் வழி’ (ōr vaṙi), which means either ‘the investigating path’ or ‘the one path’, is the practice of self-investigation, which is the one and only means by which we can dissolve ego in pure awareness in such a way that it will never rise again. If we withdraw our attention completely from all other things by any means other than self-attentiveness, ego will be dissolved in pure awareness but will not be annihilated, because it will have dissolved before pure awareness shines forth. However, if we are so keenly self-attentive that we thereby withdraw our attention completely from all other things, we as ego will thereby momentarily experience ourself as pure awareness, and as soon as we do so we will thereby be dissolved in it forever.

In other words, in order for ego to be annihilated, it must be dissolved as a result of experiencing pure awareness. That is, it must experience pure awareness prior to being dissolved. As ego we cannot survive for a moment when we experience ourself as pure awareness, so this is why we must try to experience ourself as pure awareness here and now in our current state (whether we consider this state to be waking or dream), which we can do only by being keenly self-attentive.

Therefore we need not be concerned about our inability to be self-attentive while asleep. We cannot be self-attentive in sleep because we do not exist as ego then. It is only as ego that we can try to be self-attentive, and we exist as ego only in waking and dream.

5. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 16: being so keenly self-attentive that we thereby cease to be aware of anything else is real awareness

Our nature as ego is to be constantly aware of phenomena, as we are in waking and dream, so what we need to do is these two states is try to be so keenly self-attentive that we thereby cease to be aware of any phenomena, as Bhagavan implies in verse 16 of Upadēśa Undiyār:
வெளிவிட யங்களை விட்டு மனந்தன்
னொளியுரு வோர்தலே யுந்தீபற
      வுண்மை யுணர்ச்சியா முந்தீபற.

veḷiviḍa yaṅgaḷai viṭṭu maṉantaṉ
ṉoḷiyuru vōrdalē yundīpaṟa
      vuṇmai yuṇarcciyā mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: வெளி விடயங்களை விட்டு மனம் தன் ஒளி உரு ஓர்தலே உண்மை உணர்ச்சி ஆம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): veḷi viḍayaṅgaḷai viṭṭu maṉam taṉ oḷi-uru ōrdalē uṇmai uṇarcci ām.

அன்வயம்: மனம் வெளி விடயங்களை விட்டு தன் ஒளி உரு ஓர்தலே உண்மை உணர்ச்சி ஆம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): maṉam veḷi viḍayaṅgaḷai viṭṭu taṉ oḷi-uru ōrdalē uṇmai uṇarcci ām.

English translation: Leaving aside external viṣayas [phenomena], the mind knowing its own form of light is alone real awareness [true knowledge or knowledge of reality].
What he refers to here as ‘மனம்’ (maṉam), ‘mind’, is ourself as ego, and what he refers to as ‘தன் ஒளி உரு’ (taṉ oḷi-uru), ‘its own form of light’, is our real nature (svarūpa), which is the light of pure awareness, so ‘மனம் தன் ஒளி உரு ஓர்தல்’ (maṉam taṉ oḷi-uru ōrdal), ‘the mind knowing its own form of light’, means ourself as ego being so keenly self-attentive that we thereby cease to be aware of anything other than ourself (which is what he means by ‘வெளி விடயங்களை விட்டு’ (veḷi viḍayaṅgaḷai viṭṭu), ‘leaving aside external phenomena’) and thus know ourself as pure awareness. This state in which we know nothing other than pure awareness is alone the state of உண்மை உணர்ச்சி (uṇmai uṇarcci), ‘real awareness’ or ‘true knowledge’.

When we start to follow this path of self-investigation, we may not often remember to try to be self-attentive in other dreams, but so long as we remember to try to be so in our present dream (this state that we now take to be waking), that is sufficient. The more we become accustomed to being self-attentive in this dream, the more we will remember to try to be self-attentive in other dreams also, so in due course we will find that we remember to try more and more frequently, whether in this dream or any other one.

6. Guru Vācaka Kōvai verse 957: if we experience sleep in waking, we will thereby experience sleep in dream

A devotee once asked Bhagavan a question similar to the one you asked me, saying that he was unable to achieve sleep in dream, meaning the state of uninterrupted self-attentiveness in dream, and the answer that Bhagavan gave him was recorded by Muruganar in verses 957 and 958 of Guru Vācaka Kōvai. In verse 957 Muruganar recorded:
கனவிற் சுழுத்தி கலந்திலதென் றெண்ணி
மனவுரங் கெட்டுமதி மாழ்கேல் — அணவும்
நனவிற் சுழுத்திவலி நண்ணுமே னண்ணும்
கனவிற் சுழுத்திக் கலப்பு.

kaṉaviṯ cuṙutti kalandiladeṉ ḏṟeṇṇi
maṉavuraṅ geṭṭumati māṙgēl — aṇavum
naṉaviṯ cuṙuttivali naṇṇumē ṉaṇṇum
kaṉaviṯ cuṙuttik kalappu
.

பதச்சேதம்: கனவில் சுழுத்தி கலந்திலது என்று எண்ணி மன உரம் கெட்டு மதி மாழ்கேல். அணவும் நனவில் சுழுத்தி வலி நண்ணுமேல் நண்ணும் கனவில் சுழுத்தி கலப்பு.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): kaṉavil suṙutti kalandiladu eṉḏṟu eṇṇi maṉa uram keṭṭu mati māṙgēl. aṇavum naṉavil suṙutti vali naṇṇumēl, naṇṇum kaṉavil suṙutti kalappu.

அன்வயம்: கனவில் சுழுத்தி கலந்திலது என்று எண்ணி மன உரம் கெட்டு மதி மாழ்கேல். அணவும் நனவில் சுழுத்தி வலி நண்ணுமேல் கனவில் சுழுத்தி கலப்பு நண்ணும்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): kaṉavil suṙutti kalandiladu eṉḏṟu eṇṇi maṉa uram keṭṭu mati māṙgēl. aṇavum naṉavil suṙutti vali naṇṇumēl, kaṉavil suṙutti kalappu naṇṇum.

English translation: Be not bewildered [or disheartened], losing your mental resolve thinking that sleep in dream has not been achieved. If the firmness of sleep in the current waking state is achieved, the pervading of sleep in dream will be achieved.
Here ‘நனவில் சுழுத்தி’ (naṉavil suṙutti), ‘sleep in waking’, means the state of jāgrat-suṣupti (‘waking sleep’ or ‘wakeful sleep’), which is also called turīya or turya (‘the fourth’), and it is called ‘waking sleep’ because it is our natural state of pure awareness, in which we are always awake to (or aware of) our real nature and asleep to (or unaware of) any phenomena. In other words, it is the state in which we are perfectly awake yet unaware of any differences or things other than ourself, as in sleep.

Since Bhagavan taught us that what we will experience if we investigate ourself keenly enough is this state of ‘நனவில் சுழுத்தி’ (naṉavil suṙutti), ‘sleep in waking’, the devotee who asked him this question assumed that we should also experience ‘கனவில் சுழுத்தி’ (kaṉavil suṙutti), ‘sleep in dream’, so he complained to Bhagavan that he had not yet been able to achieve such a state, meaning that he was unable to be constantly self-attentive while dreaming. Therefore Bhagavan assured him that we need not be concerned about our inability to achieve uninterrupted self-attentiveness in dream, because it is sufficient if we try to be constantly self-attentive in our current state, which is what we now take to be waking, since if we experience pure awareness in this state, we will experience it in all other states.

7. Guru Vācaka Kōvai verse 958: in order to experience sleep throughout waking and dream, steadfastness in keenly attentive self-investigation is required

Therefore we should persevere in trying to be self-attentive in our current state until sleep, the state of pure awareness, pervades throughout all states of waking or dream, as Bhagavan implied in what Muruganar recorded in verse 958:
நனவிற் சுழுத்தி நடைகாறுந் தன்னை
வினவு முசாக்கை விடாமை — எனவே
கனவிற் சுழுத்தி கலந்தொளிருங் காறவ்
வினவுசா வாற்றல் விதி.

naṉaviṯ cuṙutti naḍaikāṟun taṉṉai
viṉavu mucākkai viḍāmai — eṉavē
kaṉaviṯ cuṙutti kalandoḷiruṅ kāṟav
viṉavucā vāṯṟal vidhi
.

பதச்சேதம்: நனவில் சுழுத்தி நடை காறும் தன்னை வினவும் உசா கை விடாமை. எனவே கனவில் சுழுத்தி கலந்து ஒளிரும் காறு அவ் வினவு உசா ஆற்றல் விதி.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): naṉavil suṙutti naḍai kāṟum taṉṉai viṉavum ucā kai viḍāmai. eṉavē kaṉavil suṙutti kalandu oḷirum kāṟu a-v-viṉavu ucā āṯṟal vidhi.

English translation: Until the state of sleep in waking [is achieved], subtle investigation, in which one examines [or keenly attends to] oneself, should not be abandoned. Therefore, until sleep shines pervading in dream, steadfastness in that attentive investigation is what is prescribed.
When pure awareness alone shines in waking, it will also shine alone in dream, so until then we should persevere in trying to be keenly self-attentive in whatever state we may currently be.

8. Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ verse 16: until sleep pervades both waking and dream, incessantly persevere in being keenly self-attentive

When Muruganar showed these two verses to him, Bhagavan summarised their import in a single verse, which is now verse B-19 in Guru Vācaka Kōvai and verse 16 of Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ:
நனவிற் சுழுத்தி நடையென்றுந் தன்னை
வினவு முசாவால் விளையும் — நனவிற்
கனவிற் சுழுத்தி கலந்தொளிருங் காறும்
அனவரத மவ்வுசா வாற்று.

naṉaviṯ cuṙutti naḍaiyeṉḏṟun taṉṉai
viṉavu musāvāl viḷaiyum — naṉaviṟ
kaṉaviṯ cuṙutti kalandoḷiruṅ gāṟum
aṉavarata mavvusā vāṯṟu
.

பதச்சேதம்: நனவில் சுழுத்தி நடை என்றும் தன்னை வினவும் உசாவால் விளையும். நனவில் கனவில் சுழுத்தி கலந்து ஒளிரும் காறும், அனவரதம் அவ் உசா ஆற்று.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): naṉavil suṙutti naḍai eṉḏṟum taṉṉai viṉavum usāvāl viḷaiyum. naṉavil kaṉavil suṙutti kalandu oḷirum kāṟum, aṉavaratam a-vv-usā āṯṟu.

அன்வயம்: என்றும் தன்னை வினவும் உசாவால் நனவில் சுழுத்தி நடை விளையும். நனவில் கனவில் சுழுத்தி கலந்து ஒளிரும் காறும், அனவரதம் அவ் உசா ஆற்று.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): eṉḏṟum taṉṉai viṉavum usāvāl naṉavil suṙutti naḍai viḷaiyum. naṉavil kaṉavil suṙutti kalandu oḷirum kāṟum, aṉavaratam a-vv-usā āṯṟu.

English translation: The state of sleep in waking will result by subtle investigation, in which one always examines [or keenly attends to] oneself. Until sleep shines pervading in waking [and] in dream, incessantly perform that subtle investigation.
Therefore, though we may not yet have sufficient love to be uninterruptedly self-attentive throughout all states of waking or dream, that should be our aim, so we should try to be self-attentive as much as we can be both at this present moment and at every other moment.

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anadi-ananta said...

All these teachings are very credible. Nevertheless and quite naturally I would like to and I must know all from own experience.:-)

Sanjay Lohia said...

What or where is real vidya? (part one)

A friend: The Vedantins study all these scriptures for years and years, but if the method is simple self-attention, why do they study all these scriptures?

Michael: [Laughs] Good question! Bhagavan said the truth is not to be found in books. All those scriptures may be pointing in the right direction, but they have also been misinterpreted in many ways.

Many of the people who call themselves traditional Vedantins say that the problem is avidya (ignorance), and the only way to remove avidya is by vidya (knowledge). They take what they study and learn from books as vidya. Bhagavan says you cannot get vidya from books. You can get vidya only from within yourself. You yourself are vidya, so know yourself. Vidya means awareness of ourself as we actually are; avidya means not being aware of ourself as we actually are. So avidya is the very nature of ego.

So the aim of all those books is to tell us to turn within. When you have understood that, why should you go on endlessly studying the scriptures endlessly? So ultimately we need to turn our attention within.

The teachings of the guru are far more important than any of the scriptures. Bhagavan has given us the quintessence of all the ancient texts, and he has given us in a much simpler and clearer form. Bhagavan has given us the essence of these texts in a much more deep and radical way. For example, in most of the ancient texts, they say that the problem is avidya, but Bhagavan asks ‘For whom is avidya?’ Obviously, avidya is not for brahman but for ego. So the real problem according to Bhagavan is ego. Bhagavan has simplified and clarified things so that there is no room for misinterpretation now.

(To be continued in my next comment)

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-05-30 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: Michael James discusses prayer, happiness, dream and so on (01:13)

Sanjay Lohia said...

What or where is real vidya? (part two)

So we are so fortunate to have come to Bhagavan. Having come to Bhagavan, reading a little bit about the old texts may be interesting, but it is not essential. All that we need to know has been given to us by Bhagavan in a few texts. If you study and understand Nan Ar?, Ulladu Narpadu, Upadesa Undiyar and a few other small texts Bhagavan has written, that itself is sufficient.

You can master the whole of Vedanta just by reading a few texts Bhagavan has written. You will understand the essence of Vedanta better than those who have been studying Vedanta for years and years because Bhagavan has made it so simple. So all those texts had their role in the past, but now since we have come to Bhagavan’s teachings, more or less we can say all the older texts have become redundant.

What does advaita mean? Advaita means one or not two. So what can be simpler than one? As soon as you get two, there is complication. So advaita philosophy should be the simplest of all the philosophies. Bhagavan has simplified even this simple advaita because he is not interested in the complexity of the old texts. He is interested in only our salvation.

For me [Michael], Bhagavan is everything. Others may disagree with me. Having tasted the fullness of Bhagavan’s teachings, having tasted the completeness of Bhagavan’s teachings, everything else seems tasteless gruel to me. Bhagavan has given us a sumptuous feast, why should we go for anything else? For me, Bhagavan’s teachings are more than enough. They are not lacking in any way – they are complete in themselves.

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-05-30 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: Michael James discusses prayer, happiness, dream and so on (01:13)

My reflection: Michael says, ‘Bhagavan has given us a sumptuous feast, why should we go for anything else?’ Seems so very true! Not only Bhagavan, but even Michael has given us a sumptuous feast in the form of his videos, articles, comments, his translations of Bhagavan’s works and his emails, at least in my case.

Michael has given me one more precious thing, namely his love for Bhagavan and his teachings. So now I know my death is very near. If one falls in love with Bhagavan’s teachings and tries to follow his path, one’s death cannot be far away. So I am like a convict in jail who has been served with the death sentence.

So now is the agonizing time for me. I know my death is near, so how can I relax? So, all this heartburn and anxieties have a reason. I want to live, but at the same time I know death is preferable to this miserable life. So this pull in two directions is causing all this agony. However, once this ego dies, only calmness will prevail, and death is just around the corner!

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan has given us so much both through his own original writings and through the writings of devotees like Muruganar and Sadhu Om

I had the following conversation with Michael on his RMF UK Zoom meeting. The transcript is not verbatim:

Sanjay: I think Sri Sadhu Om’s work ‘Sadhanai Saram’ is a wonderful text, but I haven’t seen people talk about it or refer to it much. How do you rate this work?

Michael: Yes, it is a very important work. There is a lot in it. We have to read it and put it into practice. Primarily, it is a practical text. ‘Sadhanai’ means ‘means’, so ‘Sadhanai Saram’ means ‘the essence of the means’. So what is the means? The means is self-investigation and self-surrender. So it is giving us so many useful clues, so much useful guidance.

Sanjay: But why do I not hear it being discussed like Muruganar’s works such as GVK, or even Talks?

Michael: I don’t know. As far as I am concerned, when I write or talk I focus mainly on Bhagavan’s own works because for me, everything that is required is there in Bhagavan’s works. I have translated GVK and Sadhanai Saram, so I know there are many useful ideas in them. I would recommend them to anyone. However, for explaining Bhagavan’s teachings, I find that focussing on his own texts is what appeals to me. I don’t mean to diminish the value of GVK or Sadhanai Saram.

Sadhu Om has written another wonderful work – ‘Sri Ramana Sahasram’ – that is, a thousand verses praying for jnana. That’s also very very important because though it is in the form of a prayer. All of the Bhagavan’s teachings are there in the form of a prayer.

But I focus on Bhagavan’s original writings. One reason for this is that they are easy to remember as they are relatively small works. I do remember GVK, but I can’t remember where Bhagavan said that in GVK and what exactly were the words. So for me the essence of everything in all there in Ulladu Narpadu, Nan Ar?, Upadesa Undiyar, all of Sri Arunachala Stuti Panchakam and other small works of Bhagavan.

So Bhagavan has given us so much both through his own original writings and through the writings of devotees like Muruganar and Sadhu Om. We have got more than enough, so we take what is useful. Certainly, as you say, Sadhani Saram is very important work, but what is most essential are Bhagavan’s own essential writings, in my view.

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-05-30 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: Michael James discusses prayer, happiness, dream and so on (01:29)

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan has will

After Bhagavan left his body, one big controversy was did Bhagavan sign the will? Everyone said, 'No, he didn't sign the will'. But did he put his line there? There was so much controversy. When people asked Muruganar, he said, 'If he is Bhagavan, he didn't sign the will. If he signed the will, he is not Bhagavan'.

• Based on the video: 2016-04-23 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James (1:10)

My reflection: Why was Muruganar so sure that Bhagavan didn't sign the will? It is because the jnani can have no will. The jnani is without ego, and will is only for ego. As long as we have desires, likes, dislikes, attachments, hopes, fears and so on, we have our ego intact. However, once our ego is completely burnt in the blazing fire of jnana, our will will also become completely non-existent.

So we need to continue our practice of self-investigation and self-surrender as long as we have desires and attachments, likes and dislikes because they are an indication that our ego is still alive.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Correction: The title of my last comment should be: Bhagavan has no will

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
"When people asked Muruganar, he said, 'If he is Bhagavan, he didn't sign the will. If he signed the will, he is not Bhagavan'."
Does asking 'who is Bhagavan ?' conflict with self-investigation ?

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anadi-ananta, yes, asking ‘who is Bhagavan’ is not self-investigation. As long as we take Bhagavan to be something other than ourself, asking ‘who is Bhagavan’ will take our attention away from ourself, so this will become ananta-vichara.

People are used to attending to things other than ourself, so attending to Bhagavan’s photograph or murti (image) or even his name becomes another excuse to look away from ourself. So even being in the divine presence of Bhagavan is no substitute for atma-vichara. However, because Bhagavan is atma (oneself), so in that sense, atma-vichara can be taken to mean Bhagavan-vichara.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Correction:

As long as we take Bhagavan to be something other than ourself, asking ‘who is Bhagavan’ will take our attention away from ourself, so this will become anatma-vichara.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
"So even being in the divine presence of Bhagavan is no substitute for atma-vichara."
If Bhagavan is essentially atma-svarupa, how can anything be outside of Bhagavan ?

Sanjay Lohia said...

We will not understand the simplicity and clarity of Bhagavan’s teachings if our mind is unclear and clouded

All the bad qualities originate from our desires. If we have very strong desires and attachments, we will be greedy, selfish, proud . . . We will lack kindness and compassion. So to the extent our desires are reduced in strength – in other words, to the extent our mind is purified – to that the bad qualities will recede and good qualities will naturally take its place. We will be humble, compassionate and generous. All the good qualities will naturally come with the purification of mind.

However, our aim is not to acquire good qualities. Our aim is to know what we actually are, and what we are is beyond all qualities – good or bad. That is the state of absolute and infinite awareness, being and happiness. That is what we are seeking to know. But on the way, as we are following the path, as the mind gets purified, the good qualities will naturally blossom.

So the more the mind is purified, the more clearly the impurities will stand out. So we cannot judge to what extent our mind is purified. However, a truly humble or compassionate person will not take pride in their humbleness and compassion. They will feel such qualities are just natural and not anything special.

If your desires are very strong, you will do anything to fulfil your desires. That will make you inconsiderate of others – ‘my desires are important; your desires don’t matter’. You will have that sort of an attitude. So the stronger the desires, the more they will manifest in the form of the bad qualities.

If we don’t have the basic qualities of humility and everything, even if we come across the real teachings, we will not understand them correctly. We will misunderstand them and misapply them. We will not understand the simplicity and clarity of Bhagavan’s teachings if our mind is unclear and clouded. The stronger the desires and attachments, the more clouded our mind is. Therefore the qualities such as compassion and kindness will be completely obscured.

The more the desires and attachments get reduced in strength, the more our conscience will be pricked, the more we will find it difficult to see any person suffering. If we see suffering, we will try to do something to alleviate it. But when the mind is clouded by its desires and attachments, it will be very difficult to see the suffering of others.

So the purity of mind also means the clarity of mind. The impurities in the mind (or more specifically the will) are our desires and attachments. When they are reduced in strength, the loves to be calm and peaceful and to be as we really are increases. That is the purified mind or will.

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-01a Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses purification of mind

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
you mean "...the love to be calm and peaceful and to be as we really are increases."
The noun 'love' has no plural.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Ultimately, everything has to resolve back into one

Ultimately, everything has to resolve back into one. In order for everything to resolve into one, we have to find the starting point. The starting point is from where it splits into all this multiplicity. What is the starting point? It is ego. What is that ego? No one has seen it. Has anyone seen it? When we look for it, it disappears. So ultimately it is all mithya, unreality.

• Based on the video: 2016-04-23 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James (02:37)

My reflection: The logic of Bhagavan’s teachings is simple and clear. The starting point of all multiplicity is ego. If we look at it, and if we find this ego does not exist, this entire appearance of multiplicity will resolve back into one. All we need do is to look at this ego very very closely and then see for ourself whether what Bhagavan says is true or false. If this ego vanishes due to self-investigation, and if even after this ego vanishes this universe still remains, then we will prove Bhagavan wrong.

However, Bhagavan cannot be wrong because we find there is no ego in our sleep, and consequently, there are also no phenomena in sleep. So what Bhagavan says seems to be quite plausible: that is, if ego is decimated, this world-appearance will vanish also with ego. However, we have to experience all this as a direct experience. For which, we have to practice patient and persistent self-investigation.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anadi-ananta, yes, it should be, 'the love to be calm and peaceful and to be as we really are increases'. Thanks.

Sanjay Lohia said...

What Bhagavan means by ‘others’ is those who are not willing to accept his teachings as they are

Bhagavan teaches us in verse 33 of Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham:

Saying that sanchita and agamya will not adhere to a jnani but that his prarabdha will remain, is a reply which is told to the questions of others (who are unable to understand that the jnani is not the body and mind). Know that just as no wife will remain unwidowed when the husband dies, all the three karmas (sanchita, agamya and prarabdha) will vanish when the doer is destroyed by self-knowledge.

In this context, we can read what Michael said in his video: 2020-06-01b Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses eradication of all three karmas (5:00):

Michael James: There is a belief and it is supported by many scriptural texts that when a person attains jnana, they no longer do any agamya and their sanchita will all be destroyed, but so long as their body remains the prarabdha has to be experienced. This is said for those persons who take the jnani to be a body or person.

When Bhagavan says, ‘Saying that sanchita and agamya will not adhere to a jnani but that his prarabdha will remain, is a reply which is told to the questions of others’, what does Bhagavan mean by ‘others’? What Bhagavan means by ‘others’ is those who are not willing to accept his simple teachings are they are. There are many people who cling to old ideas taught in various scriptures and books. If we are willing to accept Bhagavan’s teachings, most of those older teachings become redundant. They are still appropriate to those who are not ready or willing to accept Bhagavan’s teachings.

So when it is said that prarabdha remains for the jnani, that is not a teaching we need to accept. According to Bhagavan’s path, the jnani is not the body. When ego dies what remains is just jnana alone. Jnana means pure awareness, and Bhagavan used to say ‘jnana alone is the jnani’. So the jnani is nothing other than pure awareness. So for the jnani there is no body, and because there is no body, there is also no destiny for that body.


anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
"What is that ego? No one has seen it. Has anyone seen it?"
But everyone is suffering from ego's deluding and veiling power.
So we should already have issued the warrant for this mysterious wedding guest's (ego's) arrest. (Once Bhagavan told the funny story about a wedding guest who - although unknown to both wedding parties - claimed to be a close friend of both bride and groom and took to great length advantage of the hospitality of the gullibility of both wedding parties by getting catered and entertained like a lord. Only after some enquiries were made about the unknown guest he cleared off and vanished.):-)

anadi-ananta said...

"If manōlaya (temporary dissolution of mind) is brought about by tiredness, it is called sleep, whereas if it is brought about by other means it is called by other names such as swoon, coma or nirvikalpa samādhi, but from all such states we will sooner or later rise again as ego. In order to dissolve ego in pure awareness in such a way that it will never rise again, we need to dissolve it not merely by tiredness or any other means but only by keenly focused self-attentiveness."
Regarding manōlaya in coma:
12 years ago after a legal dispute a friend of mine was poisened by toxic substances which were offered to him by the opponent. Now my friend lies brain-dead in (waking) coma since then. Because of the lastingness of the brain damage in this bodily life he will rise again as ego only by miracle. I don't have the faintest idea in which state he might be in his waking and dream state. According the expression on his face he most likely is not in nirvikalpa samādhi. If at all perhaps by using his willpower/strenght of mind established in his subtle dream-body he could make some kind of self-contemplation in dream.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Sometime it is better to satisfy one’s desire than to go on thinking about that desire

Some men go to prostitutes to satisfy their desire. Generally speaking, it’s the women who sell the service and men who purchase it. It’s not intrinsically unethical, but often the practice of prostitution involves exploitation.

• Based on the video: 2020-06-01c Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses coping with sexual desire (26:00)

My reflection: We, especially Indians, may feel that prostitution is unethical. That is, we do feel that those who visit prostitutes are bad people. However, Michael says here ‘it’s not intrinsically unethical’. It is liberating to know this because we shouldn’t unnecessarily form wrong opinions about people. Visiting prostitutes could be unethical if someone who visits prostitutes does so hurting his/ her committed partner. However, we shouldn’t form a generalised opinion on such matters. Someone doesn’t become a bad person just by visiting a prostitute.

Sometimes it is better to satisfy one’s desire than to go on thinking about that desire. The more we will think about a desire, the more strength we give to those desires. Obviously, as Michael says in this video, overindulgence in our desires is also not a solution because the more we satisfy our desires, the more it grows. So we have to strike an intelligent balance.

anadi-ananta said...

section 4.,
"As ego we cannot survive for a moment when we experience ourself as pure awareness, so this is why we must try to experience ourself as pure awareness here and now in our current state (whether we consider this state to be waking or dream), which we can do only by being keenly self-attentive."
I don't feel sure that my friend in this position is able to be keenly self-attentive.

Sanjay Lohia said...

We are waiting for Bhagavan to wreck us

The follows are some excerpts from one of my email exchange with Michael:

Sanjay: Yesterday, I was watching your video of 23/04/2016 (RMF UK). At around 01:15 of this video, you said the following:

We haven’t seen Bhagavan physically, but Bhagavan has entered our life, hasn’t he? So we have Bhagavan’s presence in our life. When Bhagavan entered my life, he took over my whole life. He ruined everything for me . . . I mean everything. I am just waiting for him to wreck me.

When you said, ‘He ruined everything for me’, what exactly did you mean? Were you talking about your livelihood being ruined, your possessions being ruined? I believe you meant that when Bhagavan entered your life, he ruined all your other interests. It will be interesting to know more about what you meant.

Michael: When I said 'he ruined everything for me', I was emphasising what I meant when I said just before that, 'he took over my whole life'. That is, he took over my whole life in such a way that everything else that my life might have been was thereby ruined. There was no possibility of me living any other type of life than the life he has given.

I think that is probably what I meant at that time, but you can interpret it in any way you like. Sometimes things are just said on the spur of the moment, and are perhaps best left unanalaysed. What do the words mean to you as soon as you hear them, before you try analysing them? In such cases that is what matters. Some statements should be analysed to get at their real meaning, and some are best left without analysis.

The more important point is what I said after that, namely 'I am just waiting for him to wreck me'. That is, it is not sufficient that he wrecks just our life, we need him to wreck us: to wreck ego, to annihilate us completely.

My reflection: Yes, I am also early waiting for Bhagavan to wreck me. I am sure he is doing his best kill me as soon as possible. The real question is am I cooperating with him because unless I am willing to be killed, even Bhagavan will find himself seemingly powerless. I am trying to surrender to him, but my efforts obviously seem to be adequate at this moment.

However, I find myself being sucked more and more within, so it will not be long before I vanish and only Bhagavan remains. This has to happen soon. I am 100% sure about this!



Sanjay Lohia said...

Anadi-ananta, I am sorry to learn about the condition of your friend. If he is in a coma, he cannot be self-attentive. Why? It is because we need an active ego to practise self-attentiveness. Self-attentiveness is selective use of our will, and our will is alive only when our ego is alive. So most probably your friend doesn’t have a will which he can use to be self-attentive.

Anyway, like all of us, your friend is also under the care of Bhagavan, so he is doing all he can to help your friend.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
presumably you wanted to write: "... but my efforts obviously seem to be not adequate at this moment."

Sanjay Lohia said...

Once we experience atma-svarupa, there will be nothing for us to hold on to ever again

Michael: Slowly, slowly as we persevere in this practice that willingness to let go, that willingness not to be perturbed by whatever happens, does come. It is a gradual process, and it can be sometimes quite a rough and stormy process. There are times in which we seem to be in relative calm when we seem to be unaffected by things, but suddenly something will happen and we get affected. Anyone following the spiritual path will be experiencing these things. So until we reach the safe harbour, until we reach where we belong, this trouble continues.

A friend: When you reach that place, will you stay there?

Michael: When you reach that, you can’t leave that. That place is pure awareness, and that is what we actually are. Now we seem to have risen as ego, so we seem to have been separated from our real nature, but once we experience that we will know we are always that. We have never left that. So that’s why we must be willing to surrender to everything; otherwise, we will not experience that. Once we experience that, there will be nothing for us to hold on to ever again.

• Based on the video: 2020-02-08 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James on Ēkāṉma Pañcakam verse 3 (00:28)

My reflection: The spiritual path is a stormy path, but like all storms, this storm will also become calm. So we should be prepared to weather this storm. Eventually, our troubles can cease only when this ego is lost forever.

Once we experience atma-svarupa as it actually is, there will be nothing for us to hold on to ever again. So why are we not experiencing atma-svarupa as it actually is now? It is because we are holding on to other things. So only if are able to give up our hold on all other things which are holding on to now, we will subside back into ourself never to rise again. And we can give up our hold on all things only by keen and vigilant self-investigation.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anadi-ananta, I wanted to write: 'but my efforts obviously seem to be inadequate at this moment'. Thanks.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
regarding coping with sexual desire,
as you correctly say, "So we have to strike an intelligent balance."

Asun said...

Dear Sanjay, there is a point in our practice where making effort is not what is required from us but refraining from rising to do anything, except, perhaps or probably, to silently and continuously pray that our love for ourself to be increased, as Ramana himself prays in Sri Arunuchala Aksaramanamalai:

“Arunachala, be gracious, melting me as love in you, the form of love, like ice in water.”

True bhakti is the mother of jnana or self-knowledge. One knows when that time has come. Till then, as you yourself told me in another thread in response to my explanation that ego isn´t but a semblance or reflection of true awareness, something that has to be first hand known and acknowledge so that we can turn towards ourself in complete surrender (it is like being at the doorstep of ourself where we remain knocking at its door, i.e., calmly being melted as love), we have to put effort to turn within and separate ourself from the person we mistake to be. It is the person what is concerned about and makes statements like you use to do such as “this has to happen soon” and so on. There is no contradiction in wholehearted praying that our love for ourself to be increased at any time, though, but we have to be realistic and honest with ourselves about at what point we are. There are things that cannot be imitated nor simulated either. Each one of us has to walk the walk on its own.

Michael will never tell you this so clearly so, I do. Spiritual ego, so to speak, is so … pouf! Transferring our ambitions from the ordinary realm to the spiritual realm takes us nowhere, sorry to say.


anadi-ananta said...

Asun,
you mean of course Sri Arunachala Aksaramanamalai

Asun said...

Yes, anadi-ananta. And also "has to be first hand known and acknowledged" , apologies.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Asun, you wrote:

Dear Sanjay, there is a point in our practice where making effort is not what is required from us but refraining from rising to do anything, except, perhaps or probably, to silently and continuously pray that our love for ourself to be increased, as Ramana himself prays in Sri Arunuchala Aksaramanamalai:

“Arunachala, be gracious, melting me as love in you, the form of love, like ice in water.”

‘refraining from rising to do anything’ is also an effort. It is an effort to be, not an effort to do. So we cannot remain without effort as long as our ego lasts. We need to turn within and stay turned within until we no longer exist as ego. So we cannot let go of effort until our very last moment as this ego. Even if we silently and continuously pray to Arunachala for love to turn within, that is another form of effort. This is a prayer by our mind, so this is an outward-directed action or effort. This prayer is useful no doubt because it will channel our will in the correct direction.

You ended your comment by writing, ‘Spiritual ego, so to speak, is so … pouf! Transferring our ambitions from the ordinary realm to the spiritual realm takes us nowhere, sorry to say’. I believe you imply that I seem to have spiritual ambition, which you believe is not proper. We need mumukhutva. Mumukhutva means yearning for freedom or an intense desire to know God or oneself as one really is.

So this is an ambition no doubt, but this is a different kind of ambition. This is an ambition which will make all our worldly ambitions fade and eventually disappear. So we do need this spiritual ambition if we want to merge in God. If our head is on fire, what will we do? We will look to put our head under water as soon as possible. We will have one-pointed urge to extinguish this fire somehow then and there, won’t we? Likewise, we should have one-pointed love to experience ourself as we actually are, and this love should be all-consuming – that is, this love should become greater than the combined strength of all our other desires and attachments.

So, I do have spiritual ambition, but this ambition is to lose myself in myself and not gain something. So this is not an egotistical ambition. I don’t want Sanjay to become enlightened, because that will be an egotistical ambition. I look forward to the time when this ego vanishes along with Sanjay forever. Of course, we need to work towards fulfilling this ambition, and we can work towards this goal only by patient and persistent self-investigation. This is the direct path and the final doorway to freedom.

Does what I say make sense?


Sanjay Lohia said...

It is ego which is functioning through all these three - mind, intellect and will

Sometimes the mind is described as antahkarana. Antahkarana means the ‘inner instruments’. It is said to consist of four parts:

(a) Mind: Mind in this context means thinking, perception, memories and so on. That means all the grosser functions of the mind. That is the manomaya-kosa.
(b) Intellect: Intellect or buddhi is the vijnanamaya-kosa. It is the judging, discriminating and reasoning part of the mind.
(c) Will: Will or chittam is the collection of all our vasanas. These vasanas consists of all our desires and attachments. That is the anandamaya-kosa.
(d) Ego: Ego or ahankara is the root of all.

So it is ego which is functioning through all the other three (mind, intellect and will). When I say ‘I am thinking’, ‘I am seeing’, ‘I am remembering’ – that’s ego functioning through the manomaya-kosa. When I say ‘I am judging, reasoning, discriminating or discerning’ – that’s ego functioning through the vijnanamaya-kosa, the intellect. And when I say, ‘I desire, I want, I dislike, I am afraid, I hope’ – that’s ego functioning through the anandamaya-kosa, the will or chittam.

So ego is not any of the five sheaths. It is that which takes all these five sheaths to be itself, whereby it obscures its real nature. All the five sheaths are jada – that is they are not aware: our thoughts, memories and perceptions are not aware; our reasoning is not aware; our desires are not aware. We are aware of all them.

So the chit or awareness aspect is ego. This ego is what is aware of all these things, which takes all these things to be ‘I’.

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-01a Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses purification of mind (17:00)

Asun said...

Sanjay, ambition is ambition and, by definition, it means wanting or desiring something that we haven´t so, who is it that wants or desires? And what is it that it desires? I very much doubt that ego wants or desires its own annihilation unless it to be able of knowing and acknowledging what it really is and then turning in complete surrender towards its source, ready to be completely destroyed, it doesn´t matter when or how. Where is there room for anything, including effort, exigencies or demands of any kind and at any level, other than pure love in there? In my view, that´s what means “to be waiting for Bhagavan to wreck us”. I haven´t watched that video nor I know in what sense Michael made that statement, I only read and responded to your own statements. Waiting is not the same as expecting, in fact, what is being waited for, is the totally unexpected for and by us. To that extent it has to be unconditional our trust and love.
But, yes, what you say makes sense and I can understand what you mean.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Asun, you ask, ‘who is it that wants or desires?’ It is only ego which wants or desires anything. What we actually are does not desire or want anything because it is complete and full in itself. It is infinite happiness or satisfaction, so it is beyond all wants and desires. However, as ego, we seem to be a limited form of a body, and therefore we seem to be separated from our infinite happiness and satisfaction. So only as ego, we have wants and desires. And what is the basis of every want or desire? The basis is our fundamental desire to get back to our infinite and unbound happiness, which is what we actually are.

You say, ‘I very much doubt that ego wants or desires its own annihilation’. Ego at one level does not want its own annihilation because otherwise why would it be holding on to all these things with so much passion. By holding on these things with so much attachment, it is sustaining itself. Ego knows that if it lets go of everything, it will subside and die. So it continues to hold on to things for its own survival.

However, at another level, ego does want its own destruction, otherwise, why would it try looking at itself? The more it looks at itself, the more it practises self-investigation, the more it knows that it is on the path of self-destruction.

So this ego is actually confused. It doesn’t actually know whether it wants to live or die. Ego is born is confusion and as long as it survives, it always exists in confusion.

You wonder, ‘Where is there room for anything, including effort, exigencies or demands of any kind and at any level, other than pure love in there?’ If one feels that one does not need any effort in the spiritual path, one has not understood the spiritual path. What is self-investigation but an effort to be as we actually are? Yes, once ego is destroyed, there will be no one to make any effort. So only then can we rest in our primal and natural state which is without effort. But ego has to make efforts if it wants to destroy itself.

Bhagavan teaches us in the paragraph 12 of Nan Ar?:

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

When Bhagavan says, ‘it is necessary to walk unfailingly in accordance with the path that guru has shown’, isn’t he implying that we need to make effort to follow his path? So those who think that any effort on our part is meaningless have not grasped Bhagavan’s teachings. In fact, we need both wholehearted love and wholehearted effort to succeed on this path.

I am not sure whether you will agree with me.

Asun said...

This is what I´m trying to clarify, Sanjay. As you say, the more we practice self-investigation, the more we understand that we are on the path of self-destruction which implies that, at certain point of our practice, effort on our part, even to think, is not what is required from us but rather refraining from rising to do anything, even to think. You stated previously that refraining from rising to do anything is also effort which may be true at first, but when it is fully understood and experienced that the effort that previously was necessary now has become an undesirable interference on our part, effort is naturally replaced by relax. This is the difference between “expecting” and just “waiting”, and the reason why I told you that it may be a bit precipitated to state that we are already “waiting for Bhagavan to wreck us” because at this point, self-destruction is not in our hands anymore. What we had to do, we have already done it and now it is up to Bhagavan. We are just waiting, without desires, expectations, demands nor exigencies of any kind and at any level either mundane or spiritual.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Asun, as ego subsides more and more, our will also subsides more and more, and therefore we can make very little effort of any sort. So when we have put in our maximum efforts to turn within, a time will come when we will feel that we cannot turn within any further. However, our surrender is not yet fully complete because ego is still there. So we are liable to turn out again and engage again in all our pet desires and attachments.

So ultimately we need to turn within to the maximum possible extent and then remain without any further effort because any further effort may not be possible then. However, this does not mean that we can give up our vigilance. It is because we still retain the ego and our work is not complete yet. So our work then will be to remain vigilant, not to allow our attention to turn out again.

So we may say that we are ‘waiting for Bhagavan to wreck us’, but that does not mean that our sadhana is over. It is because we need to be in a state in which we become fully willing to be wrecked by Bhagavan. We can demonstrate that willingness by remaining calmly attending to ourself as firmly as possible.

So ultimately we are responsible for our success in our sadhana. Bhagavan is ready and ever willing to wreck us here and now, but we are resisting him by rising to attend to this or that. All we need to do is to stop rising, and Bhagavan will easily wreck us here and now.

We are in the jaws of the tiger, and it will not leave us. But it will also not eat us as long as we struggling. Our situation is like this. We are in Bhagavan’s grips, so out death is inevitable. But Bhagavan is not finishing us here and now because we are still struggling – that is we are constantly having these likes and dislikes, desires and so on. So Bhagavan is waiting for us to remain quiet, and once we are quiet we will be finished immediately.

I am not sure if I have put things clearly because our words and even thoughts fail to describe these things properly.



Sanjay Lohia said...

The state of true self-awareness is a state in which we are aware of nothing other than ourself

Bhagavan teaches us in verse 27 of Upadesa Undiyar:

Only knowledge [or awareness] that is devoid of knowledge and ignorance is [real] knowledge [or awareness]. This is real, [because] there is not anything for knowing.

What Bhagavan means by knowledge and ignorance is the knowledge and ignorance of things other than ourself. So the implied meaning is that the state of true self-awareness is a state in which we are aware of nothing other than ourself. That he says is the reality. That is the state of pure self-awareness, and that alone is real.

In the last sentence, he says in the state of pure self-awareness there is nothing to know. That is pure awareness knows only itself and not anything else. So that is the ultimate state we are aiming for. That is our real nature. The pure awareness he describes there is also called sat-chit-ananda.

Bhagavan teaches us in verse 28 of Upadesa Undiyar:

If one knows what the nature of oneself is, then [what will exist and shine is only] anādi [beginningless], ananta [endless, limitless or infinite] and akhaṇḍa [unbroken, undivided or unfragmented] sat-cit-ānanda [being-awareness-bliss].

So in that state of pure awareness, all that exists is only sat-chit-ananda, which has no beginning, no end, no limits and it is never divided or broken in any way. So that is our real nature.

• Based on the video: 2019-10-27 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses service in relation to Bhagavan’s teachings (01:18)

My reflection: We will experience only pure and infinite sat-chit-ananda once we reach or goal. So obviously I have not reached my goal because I experience all these things which I consider to be other than myself. I still experience all these desires and attachments. I still experience pleasure and pain. I still experience a world apart from myself.

So I have more ground to cover, and therefore I need to be patiently and persistently attending to myself more and more. So Bhagavan’s teachings not only show us the path, the direction in which we need to move, but they also show us where we stand on our journey. We may erroneously believe that we have reached or goal if we are not aware of what the goal looks like. The goal is only pure and infinite sat-chit-ananda, which is aware of nothing else. We need to be clear of this.

Asun said...

Correction to my previous comment:

Precipitated = precipitate or premature.

No, Sanjay, we can´t give up our vigilance, otherwise, we´ll claim that we are waiting to be wrecked by Bhagavan and then add that this has to be soon. I think you are starting to get the point.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
you meant "We may erroneously believe that we have reached our goal...".

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
yesterday at 16:26 you wanted to write: "Ego is born in confusion...".

anadi-ananta said...

Asun,
yesterday at 15:32 you meant to say:
"...unless it is able to knowing and acknowledging what it really is...
"Where is there room for anything, including effort, exigencies or demands of any kind and at any level, other than pure love is there?"

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
yesterday at 12:56 you wanted to write "These vasanas consist of all our desires and attachments."

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
yesterday at 12:10 you meant "We need mumukshutva".

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan or Arunachala has appeared as all the Gods

Muruganar says that Bhagavan is the one who has appeared as all the Gods. Since Bhagavan and Arunachala are one, we can likewise say that Arunachala has appeared as all the Gods. We need not distinguish between Bhagavan and Arunachala. Bhagavan is Arunachala; Arunachala is Bhagavan. They exist in us as our own fundamental awareness – arivu.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anadi-ananta, I thank you for pointing out my typos. I am grateful to you because you read these comments so carefully.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
"Since Bhagavan and Arunachala are one, we can likewise say that Arunachala has appeared as all the Gods."
What appears must sooner or later disappear.
Therefore should we not say more accurately that Arunachala is anādi [beginningless], ananta [endless, limitless or infinite] and akhaṇḍa [unbroken, undivided or unfragmented] sat-cit-ānanda [being-awareness-bliss] whereas all the Gods appear and disappear ? On the other hand the god 'Siva' is said to be ident with Bhagavan and Arunachala which again are not different from our ever existing real nature sat-cit-ānanda [being-awareness-bliss].

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan once called himself Arunachalaramana, thereby clearly implying that Ramana and Arunachala are one substance

Rahul Dravid: Sanjay Lohia You haven’t read the comment properly. I am talking from the physical standpoint. But again I don’t want to take this in the wrong direction. Sorry if it had hurt anyone...

As Bhagavan himself said when a devotee mentioned “It is because of you Bhagavan I came to Arunachala.” Bhagavan replied, “You are projecting all this on to me. The same force that brought me here is what brought you here. Don’t put this on me. The ultimate pulling agent is Arunachala. It is because of him we are all here...”

Sanjay Lohia: Rahul, if we take Bhagavan to be a form, we feel that that form was attracted to the form to Arunachala. And why do we take Bhagavan to be a form? It is because we take ourself to be a form. So because we are attracted to Bhagavan’s form, we think Bhagavan’s form was attracted to the form of Arunachala.

However, if we look within and see that we are not the form we take ourself to be, we will clearly see that Bhagavan is not the form we take him to be. Bhagavan and Arunachala are just two names of what we actually are. What are we actually? We are just the beginningless, infinite, unbroken, immutable being-awareness-bliss. So in our essential nature, atma-svarupa, Bhagavan and Arunachala are absolutely one. Bhagavan has made this clear in so many ways.

As you wrote, Bhagavan told that devotee: ‘The same force that brought me here is what brought you here’. So isn’t Bhagavan clearly implying that Arunachala and Ramana are one force or power? In fact, Bhagavan once called himself Arunachalaramana, thereby clearly implying that Ramana and Arunachala are one substance. He wrote in a verse:

Aruṇācalaramaṇa is paramātman [the supreme spirit or ultimate self] rejoicing as awareness in the cave of the heart-lotus of [all] different jīvas [life-forms] beginning with Hari [Viṣṇu]. Heart melting with love, reaching the cave where the sublime supreme dwells, the eye that is awareness opening, you will [thereby] know what is innate [your own real nature, the indwelling Aruṇācalaramaṇa]; [because] it will come out [meaning it reveal itself].

• Extract from the comments on the video: 2020-06-06 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: Michael James discusses Upadēśa Undiyār verses 1 to 3


Sanjay Lohia said...

God doesn’t want us to do actions (part one)

A friend: Bhagavan teaches us in verse three of Upadesa Undiyar:

Niṣkāmya karma [action not motivated by desire] done [with love] for God purifies the mind and [thereby] it will show the path to liberation [that is, it will enable one to recognise what the correct path to liberation is].

What does ‘desireless action’ mean? I think it means ‘no desire for the fruits of action’. Is that right?

Michael: Yes, but it’s all relative. The nishkamya karma done by us as ego is only relative nishkamya karma. So long as there is ego, there will be likes and dislikes. Supposing we see some starving people, and we give them some food thinking that we are feeding God in those forms. So we alleviate their suffering. Will we not derive pleasure from that? That means there is some liking - some desire is still there.

So that’s why Bhagavan said only an atma-jnani can be a true karma-yogi. Whatever karma-yoga we may do before atma-jnana, we will derive some satisfaction from doing that work. So long as we are looking outwards, ego will be rising and playing mischief.

If we really love God, shouldn’t we do what God wants most from us? God doesn’t want us to do actions. God wants us to surrender ourself to him not because he wants anything from us, but he wants us to be happy, and the only way to be happy is to surrender ourself.

Murugunar begins his payiram (introductory verse) by saying, ‘giving up the delusion of action’. So the way to be saved is to give up the delusion of action. The whole of Upadesa Undiyar is showing us that action is not the way. Action will not give liberation. Even the nishkamya karma will not give liberation, but the bhakti with which it is done will purify the mind and show the way to liberation.

The way to liberation is to give up action. So nishksmya karma is taught at a preliminary stage. Ultimately we have to go beyond action - leave all outward things and turn within.

(To be continued in my next comment)

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-06 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: Michael James discusses Upadēśa Undiyār verses 1 to 3 (01:24)

Sanjay Lohia said...

God doesn’t want us to do actions (part two)

How to give up action? We can give up action only by ceasing to attending to anything external to us, by withdrawing the mind from anya-bhava and turning it to ananya-bhava. Bhagavan says in verse 8 of Upadesa Undiyar:

Rather than anya-bhāva, certainly ananya-bhāva, in which he is I, is the best among all.

In verse 9 he teaches us:

By the strength of meditation, being in sat-bhāva, which transcends bhāvana, alone is para-bhakti tattva.

That is the principle of true or supreme devotion. So by turning our attention within, we remain in sat-bhava, the true state of just being. Bhagavan says in verse 10:

Subsidingly being in the place from which one rose: that is karma and bhakti; that is yoga and jñāna.

So ‘Subsiding being in the place from which we rose’ is the way to liberation. So long as we are doing, we cannot attain liberation. We need to stop being and just be. How to stop doing and just be? Turn your attention within.

So Bhagavan’s teachings are all beautifully coherent. It all makes perfect sense. It all holds together logically and coherently. Every element of his teaching entails all the other elements, and it’s so so simple. If you grasp the essence of it, it’s so incredibly simple - It’s not doing that we achieve anything; it’s by just being

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-06 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: Michael James discusses Upadēśa Undiyār verses 1 to 3 (01:24)

My reflection: It is so uplifting and enriching just to understand the simple theory of Bhagavan’s teachings. Each of the verses of Ullladu Narpadu and Upadesa Undiyar is a gem. The more we read these verses and the more we reflect on the meaning of these verses, the more we fall in love with the beauty of these simple but ultimate teachings.

As Michael said most other teaching seems more or less state gruel to him. I am now beginning to understand why he thinks so. My neighbour has lovingly just sent me a seven-page printout of Jiddu Krishnamurti quotes. It seems she has freshly printed these quotes just for me. But sadly she is not aware that I have no inclination even to read what she has sent me. Why? It is because his first quote reads: ‘The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence’.

What Krishnamurthi says in this quote clearly goes against Bhagavan’s teaching. So now I have no inclination to read this any further. So most probably I will return these quotes back to my neighbour without reading them. So here I am - one more Ramana fanatic in the making! But I have no regrets because I am fully satisfied with Bhagavan’s teachings, so I have no need to look beyond his teachings. I am fully content with the sumptuous feast of Bhagavan teachings, to once again borrow Michael's words!

Salazar said...

For all David Godman followers (as in followers of his stories): David has put new material on his website, a trip to the Himalayas with his second wife and his family, and an account of life in Tamil Nadu during the Wuhan virus.

For those who do not know, David got married the first time on August 24, 2012 to Elizabeth Huesing from Boulder, Colorado and got divorced later and remarried recently the lecturer Miri Albahari from Australia.

By the way, he still has the made up story of Robert Adams' visit with Bhagavan (copied from Robert's talk at one of his satsangs) on his website. My question is, how accurate are all of the other stories he's told about Papaji and others? That's why turning in is the only answer to all of the drama.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
usually we write Ulladu Narpadu/Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu.:-)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I agree to some extent.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
we should read "Muruganar begins his payiram (introductory verse)".

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anadi-ananta, thank you. As you can see, I cannot even spell 'Ulladu Narpadu' correctly, so how can I understand what is written in Ulladu Narpadu? Yes, it should be 'Muruganar':)

Sanjay Lohia said...

Letting our attention go away from ourself is the cardinal sin, and that is the root of all sins

A friend: Bhagavan is taking care of everything. Does that absolve me of all my personal responsibilities? He will make me surrender when the time is ripe.

Michael: No, it puts full responsibility on us. Our responsibility is to surrender ourself, not to try to do this or that. Even if everything is happening according to prarabdha, that doesn’t mean we can do no wrong. Any action which is driven by will is wrong because our will is what drives our attention outwards. That is wrong.

According to Bhagavan, our only sin is rising as ego. How do we rise as ego? We do so by turning our attention outwards to see all these things. So letting our attention go away from ourself is the cardinal sin, and that is the root of all sins. So we have full responsibility to surrender ourself. Do we want to surrender ourself, or do we want to engage in actions and drown further and further into the ocean of actions? We can reach the shore only by surrendering ourself.

What are the actions that bear fruits? Obviously, if we are doing actions only according to destiny, that’s not going to bear fruit because those actions are fruits of past actions. So the actions that bear fruit are the actions that we do by our will – that is agamya. By agamya we don’t change anything, but we accumulate fruits and strengthen our karma-vasanas. So the agamya has consequences but not the consequences that we want. We cannot change our prarabdha by our agamya even a tiny bit.

So we accumulate by agamya the fruits of those actions and the seeds of those actions, and those seeds make us do those actions again and again and again. As Bhagavan says, actions cause us to fall into this ocean of action. So it is our responsibility: do we want to fall into the ocean of action, or do we want to give up actions by surrendering ourself to Bhagavan? The choice is ours, so the responsibility is also fully ours.

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-06 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: Michael James discusses Upadēśa Undiyār verses 1 to 3 (01:09)

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anything which is jada (insentient) is not real but just an appearance (part one)

Bhagavan teaches us in verse one of Upadesa Undiyar:

Karma [action] giving fruit is by the ordainment of God [the kartā or ordainer]. Since karma is jaḍa [devoid of awareness], can karma be God?

The principal aim of this verse is to repudiate the central doctrine of the purva mimamsa philosophy [which appears in the earlier part of Vedas and which deals with karmakanda], the idea that there is no God except karma (action). Purva mimamsa believes karma itself is supreme.

‘Karma’ means actions we do by our mind, speech and body. These actions, when they are driven by our will bear fruit. But the fruits they bear are decided by God. Karma doesn’t give fruit automatically. Since karma is jada, it’s got no power of its own to determine what fruit it would give us.

In this verse one, Bhagavan is saying a lot more than it appears on the surface. Why they give so much importance to the ritualistic actions is purva mimamsa? It is because they believe that ritualistic actions are the means to gain power and to thereby fulfil one’s desires. So principally all the Vedic rituals are about acquisition of power. What they use the power for in up to you.

So that’s why those Darukavana rishis were after power because they were of a very low state of mind. They were seeking power for the aggrandisement of ego and for the fulfilment of their desires. They were so proud of the power of their karmas that they believed that there is no God other than karma. They thought, ‘Karma themselves are supreme. Even if there is God, he is bound to give the fruit according to karma’. They had such foolish ideas.

This is what Bhagavan is repudiating here. Karma is jada, and jada means ‘devoid of awareness’. So without stating explicitly Bhagavan is drawing a connection between awareness and power. The idea behind it is that anything which is jada is not real but just an appearance. That is one of the basic principles of Bhagavan’s teachings. Whatever has no awareness of its own is just an appearance, and it appears only in the view of ego.

(To be continued in my next comment)

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-06 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: Michael James discusses Upadēśa Undiyār verses 1 to 3 (00:30)

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anything which is jada (insentient) is not real but just an appearance (part two)

In continuation of my previous comment:

Whatever power we see external to ourself, either in our own mind or in the external world, that power is derived only from us because it exists only in our view. So the power of all jada things is derived only from ego. However, even ego is not real, and therefore it has no awareness or power of its own. It derives its awareness and power from pure awareness. That is it derives its awareness and power from our real nature, which alone is real.

Therefore, since actions are driven by ego, these actions derive their power from ego, which in turn derives its power from pure awareness. Though pure awareness is the reality of ego, as ego we are aware of ourself as a person. So what we really are, which is pure awareness, seems to be something other than ourself, and hence this pure awareness is described as God.

Because we have limited ourself, our own real nature which is God, we see as something other than ourself – something all-powerful, all-loving and all-knowing. Therefore, since God is the reality of ego, and since karmas are mere unreal products of the ego, if ego believes that there is no God other than karma (as claimed by purva mimamsa), it is the height of arrogance and foolishness. So Bhagavan repudiated this false belief by asking, ‘Since karma is jada, can karma be God?’

The fruit that each action gives is an appropriate fruit decided by God and given to us at an appropriate time. So once we have done the actions, it’s out of our hands. Now it is for God to decide when we will experience the consequences of that action – when, how, where, what consequences we will experience, that’s all decided by God.

So Bhagavan is showing us that karma is powerless by itself. It has no power except the power it derives from the doer of the action, which is ego, which in turn derives its power from God, which is our real nature (pure awareness).

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-06 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: Michael James discusses Upadēśa Undiyār verses 1 to 3 (00:30)

Asun said...

I´ve always found confusing this issue of god and I still do. How can god that is pure awareness decide anything, including what fruit is the appropriate fruit for us (the jiva, soul or person) to experience it as well as the appropriate time?

anadi-ananta said...

Who and how could one deny god his power of having many aspects ?

Salazar said...

That's the perfect setup for eternal arguments, take a concept (like "God") from different viewpoints and then throw that opinion out so others counter with their different viewpoint. We are talking about a "dual viewpoint" or an "absolute viewpoint" but that is false altogether.

There is no absolute viewpoint, a viewpoint is always "dual" or a subject-object relationship. So when the self gives attention to the non-self (a phrase Bhagavan has used as I did) then that is also from a dual viewpoint since there is no self and non-self, just with a delusional perception. However as a concept, it is always "dual".

The limits of the mind is pretty clear, just not for the mind :-)

I do not believe that Bhagavan would approve of how this blog is used.

anadi-ananta said...

Only the limited mind does believe that Bhagavan would have an own blog.:-)

Salazar said...

Well, that's not what I said. I did not say that Bhagavan would have a blog, I said that he would not approve of how THIS blog (and NOT his blog) is used.

It's highly unlikely that a Jnani would maintain a blog or give interviews or appear on TV or youtube.

Asun said...

Salazar, you have the ability of making up from a true premise a completely wrong conclusion hence, statements of yours such as the statement that it is self or pure awareness what does self-enquiry, among many others funny statements along with your invariable response that “it´s beyond mind” when you are asked for a logical and reasonable explanation to your absurdities, something that is only possible to get if there is true understanding but not when we are dealing with a mere exhibition of sophistry, as it is usually with you. As I told you, I shall not even try to get you out from that loop.

I can understand that the concept of god rises along with the I-thought or ego and that the explanation of god ruling the manifestation and therefore the person, since it is part of it, is given to those who believe to be a person as I can understand the reason for this to be so. What I find confusing is the way this concept of god becomes mixed up with pure awareness in Michael´s explanations arrogating to pure awareness a role in maya that it doesn´t play, no matter how true it is that ego derives its power from pure awareness.
There is a gap in there where I get completely lost.

Salazar said...

Oh Asun, as long as you are comfortable with your absurdities .... :-)

Thanks for your opinion, and that's what it is, an opinion. I really can care less what is your opinion about my comments. So you are talking about a "true" premise. Hm, according to whom? In your ego's opinion I reckon. What good is the opinion of an ego? Of course in its own opinion it must be great. LOL

So let's just join in a circle and dance and sing Kumbaya :-D

anadi-ananta said...

To whom does yawn a gap in which one gets completely lost ? To me.
Should we not continue our investigation from just this starting line/launching pad ?

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
sorry, I admit that my limited mind quite possibly could have been read "how his blog is used".

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, tell me - what is gained by making statements like the one at 17:47 and all the other one's you do? It's an endless regurgitation of memorized concepts and platitudes, rehashed and populated on this blog. It's not even Bhagavan, it is a parody of Bhagavan.

Asun said...

For goodness sake, anadi-ananta, how do you dare to do such comments? Let´s better gossip about “celebrities” popping out Ramana´s ashram “he married, he divorced, he remarried …” , according to Bhagavan´s premise on this stuff, we should conclude that gossiping on this blog makes him happy. Really …

Yes, “to whom? To me” is always a good starting point :)

Salazar said...

Asun, thanks for sharing just another of your many opinions. Your problem seems to be that you are confusing it with facts or "truth".

But you confirmed the point I am making, as soon as an ego here gets a bit bruised, all good intentions are being thrown over board. Where is the "ease" and relaxed space you keep harping about now? Of course the ego will come up with all kinds of excuses, explanations, "smart" rebuttals, including parodying Bhagavan with the raised finger urgently reminding "to whom" --> "to me" but not really looking within yourself but projecting it outwards.

And so it goes on. Ego Asun has won the battle again, but it always can post later how it has grasped it all perfectly .... LOL

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
we are all happy to have you as the genuine and authentic devotee of Bhagavan in our midst.
So you hopefully will forgive me too my "parodistic" performance.
Please do not suffer much from my imperfection and make it better. :-)

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, thank you, but there is nothing to forgive, you can't help it but be as your karma makes you act and comment. Your problem is that you believe that you are doing it. So what are all of your accumulated concepts really worth while still clinging at ahamkara? Nothing in my eyes.

Can't wait for your next comment praising me, just add a little more sarcasm, please :-)

Sanjay Lohia said...

Only atma-vichara is the path to liberation

In the first 15 verses of Upadesa Undiyar Bhagavan shows how all the other paths must ultimately lead to the path of atma-vichara. In the first 10 verses, Bhagavan shows the progressive stages of karma-marga and bhakti-marga. Then from verses 11 to 15, he deals with yoga marga. In the last 15 verses, he expounds atma-vichara and other important principles of his teachings.

Bhagavan says though by controlling the breath you can control the mind, as you let go of the control of breath, the mind will jump out again. So before the mind subsides in laya, we should direct it on ōr vaṙi [the investigating path or one path, namely the path of self-investigation, which is the one and only means to eradicate ego and thereby annihilate the mind]. In other words, if the yogi wants to destroy the mind which is calmed by pranayama, they should direct the mind on the path of self-investigation.

So in the first 15 verses, Bhagavan is showing us how nishkamya-karma, nishkamya (anya-bhava) bhakti and yoga marga are tributaries leading up to the main river of atma-vichara. All other sadhanas entail attending to things other than ourself, and so long as we attend to anything other than ourself the mind is active. Only when we attend to ourself does the mind subside. So, only atma-vichara is the path to liberation.

In order to see clearly that only atma-vichara is the path to liberation, we need a certain degree of purity of mind. But what is the best way to purify the mind? It is atma-vichara. So Bhagavan says atma-vichara is the best of all paths. It means it the most purifying of all paths, and it the direct means to liberation.

So why should we waste our time hanging around in the tributaries instead of jumping into the main river and allowing the main river to sweep us to the ocean? This main river is the river of Bhagavan’s grace, of Bhagavan’s love: that is the path of atma-vichara. That river will sweep us away into the ocean of eternal bliss, which is our real nature. So we should boldly jump into that river.

• Edited extract from the video: 2017-03-04 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: discussion with Michael James on Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 2 (00:53)

Rob P said...

GVK Verse 694

Prof K
Even in this worldly life one’s labours bear
No fruit without abundant faith.
Hence till one merges in the bliss
Supreme and boundless, one’s strong zeal
In sadhana should never slacken.

Michael & Sadhu Om
When even in worldly affairs success is impossible
without proper zeal [shraddha] in one’s endeavour,
one should not allow the zeal [shraddha] in doing
spiritual practice to diminish until one becomes one
with the limitless Supreme.

From Wiki
Śraddhā (Sanskrit: श्रद्धा) is often glossed in English as faith. Āsthā is used for faith, religious beliefs and God.[1] The term figures importantly in the literature, teachings, and discourse of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.

It can be associated with faith, trust, confidence, and loyalty. The teacher Ammachi describes it as the "constant alertness arising from Love", and when choosing a single word to translate it into English, has used "awareness".[2] Other writers have also described the concept with emphasis on the intersection of faith and mindfulness, and it has been translated in this vein with words such as "diligence".[3]

Sri Aurobindo describes Śraddhā as "the soul's belief in the Divine's existence, wisdom, power, love and grace." [4]

Without diacritical marks, it is usually written as Sraddha. Śraddhā is also a feminine name in India.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Asun, you wondered, ‘I´ve always found confusing this issue of god and I still do. How can god that is pure awareness decide anything, including what fruit is the appropriate fruit for us (the jiva, soul or person) to experience it as well as the appropriate time?’ You may find the answer to your question in paragraph 15 of Nan Ar?:

Just like in the mere presence of the sun, which rose without icchā [wish, desire or liking], saṁkalpa [volition or intention] [or] yatna [effort or exertion], a sun-stone [sūryakānta, a gem that is supposed to emit fire or heat when exposed to the sun] emitting fire, a lotus blossoming, water evaporating, and people of the world commencing [or becoming engaged in] their respective kāryas [activities], doing [those kāryas] and ceasing [or subsiding], and [just like] in front of a magnet a needle moving, jīvas [sentient beings], who are subject to [or ensnared in] muttoṙil [the threefold function of God, namely the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world] or pañcakṛtyas [the five functions of God, namely creation, sustenance, dissolution, concealment and grace], which happen by just [or nothing more than] the special nature of the presence of God, who is saṁkalpa rahitar [one who is devoid of any volition or intention], move [exert or engage in activity] and subside [cease being active, become still or sleep] in accordance with their respective karmas [that is, in accordance not only with their prārabdha karma or destiny, which impels them to do whatever actions are necessary in order for them to experience all the pleasant and unpleasant things that they are destined to experience, but also with their karma-vāsanās, their inclinations or desires to think, speak and act in particular ways, which impel them to make effort to experience pleasant things and to avoid experiencing unpleasant things]. Nevertheless, he [God] is not saṁkalpa sahitar [one who is connected with or possesses any volition or intention]; even one karma does not adhere to him [that is, he is not bound or affected in any way by any karma or action whatsoever]. That is like world-actions [the actions happening here on earth] not adhering to [or affecting] the sun, and [like] the qualities and defects of the other four elements [earth, water, air and fire] not adhering to the all-pervading space.

So, as Bhagavan says things ‘happen by just [or nothing more than] the special nature of the presence of God’. So God ordains the fruits of our karmas by his mere presence in our heart. Does what Bhagavan says in paragraph 15 of Nan Ar help clarify your doubts?

Sanjay Lohia said...

Rob, thank you for reminding us of verse 694 of GVK:

When even in worldly affairs success is impossible
without proper zeal [shraddha] in one’s endeavour,
one should not allow the zeal [shraddha] in doing
spiritual practice to diminish until one becomes one
with the limitless Supreme.

What does the term 'zeal' (shraddha) mean in this context? It clearly means our love and interest in for our sadhana, and it also means the effort we make in our sadhana. So we should not let our interest and effort in our sadhana diminish until we merge in the supreme, which is our true nature. So, yes, one's zeal in self-investigation is of paramount importance. Our half-hearted effort will not enable us to reach our goal.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
as you rightly imply it is only my lack of true love for abiding in the natural state of thought-free self-conscious being that let me reply to your always instructive and illuminating comments. So we apparently don't have an easy time of it.:-)

Asun said...

Sanjay, that paragraph from “Nan Ar?” explains how and why actions of “jivas” happen but Bhagavan makes clear “that God (or pure awareness) is not saṁkalpa sahitar [one who is connected with or possesses any volition or intention]” , i.e., there is not intervention nor decision on its part. A decision, made according to what is appropriate as Michael puts it, implies volition an intention, that´s why I find confusing his explanation.

My own conviction is that, as soon as it rises, ego is bounded to set and that God or pure awareness, either known or not, is always shining in our heart as “I am” guiding us towards ourself so that ego can know itself as what it really is in full awareness, that´s to say, grace or the love of ourself for us as what we really are is always present, though it is only when ego recognizes the true import of “I am” that it turns towards itself, this guidance is acknowledged as having been always present and this love reciprocated by surrendering which implies purification of ego´s will, bringing understanding or clarity of mind about, as well as a change of attitude and behavior with regard to the world and ,therefore, in the course of our karma and prarabdha, or the consequences of our actions, since actions themselves change due, not to God´s interplay or decision nor either to our will but due to the use we are now making of our will to turn within. In my view, this is the only role played by God or pure awareness. The course followed by the jiva or the person is being automatically driven by its prarabdha or according to its previous actions, being both (person and prarabdha) insentient and lacking of awareness, not by God´s decision. Nor even God can change what has being already predetermined or caused by our actions or karma. Prarabdha is just the consequence.

Sanjay Lohia said...

This simple teaching of Bhagavan that this world is a dream has a huge huge implication

Bhagavan teaches us in the 18th paragraph of Nan Ar?:

Besides the saying that waking is dīrgha [long lasting] and dream is kṣaṇika [momentary or lasting for only a short while], there is no other difference [between them]. To what extent all the vyavahāras [activities, affairs, transactions or events] that happen in waking seem to be real, to that extent even the vyavahāras that happen in dream seem at that time to be real. In dream the mind takes another body [to be itself]. In both waking and dream thoughts and names-and-forms [the phenomena that constitute the seemingly external world] occur in one time [or simultaneously].

This simple teaching of Bhagavan that this world is a dream has a huge huge implication. It is one of the cornerstones of Bhagavan’s teachings. Bhagavan gives no room to the diluted implication of the scholars who say that though this state is like a dream, waking and dream differ in some aspects. Bhagavan says there is absolutely no difference between the two. In the 18th paragraph of Nan Ar Bhagavan says ‘Besides the saying that waking is dīrgha and dream is kṣaṇika, there is no other difference [between them]’, but Bhagavan clarifies in GVK that even this is not true. It is because time is only relative.

It is only from the perspective of the waking state that this state appears long, and other dreams appear short. But when we are dreaming that appears to be waking. So if we were having this discussion in our dream last night, we will be saying exactly the same thing – this ‘waking’ appears long and ‘dreams’ are short. So it’s all a matter of perspective.

• Edited extract from the video: 2017-03-11 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James on life as a dream (01:17)

My reflection: Michael says, ‘This simple teaching of Bhagavan that this world is a dream has a huge huge implication’. What are these implications?

We know that whatever we experience in dreams are our own mental creations. We ourself project the dream world, and it is also viewed only by us. So if this so-called waking state is another dream, it is all our own projection and we are the only one experiencing this dream. That is, there is only one ego experiencing this dream. This is called eka-jiva-vada (the contention that there is only one ego). So this is one implication.

We may experience a lot of misery and suffering in our dream, but when we wake from our dream all those misery and suffering vanishes in a flash. Likewise, we may be undergoing all sorts of good and bad experiences. We may find unending suffering in this world. But if this is just a dream, the best way to end all suffering is to wake up to our real nature. We can wake up to our real nature only by turning within and by experiencing ourself as we actually are. So this is another important implication.

If we are convinced that this waking state is just a dream, it will be so much easier to turn back within leaving this dream to take care of itself. So understating that all this is just a dream will make both self-surrender and self-investigation that much easier. It will be easy to give up our desires and attachments – ‘after all, all this is just a dream, so why be concerned about these things’.

So as Michael says ‘This simple teaching of Bhagavan that this world is a dream has a huge huge implication’.

Asun said...

Cont. to my previous comment:

Now, how our prarabdha is managed “when, how, where, what consequences we will experience”, I don´t know. But Bhagavan makes clear that it is not managed by God or pure awareness as Michael puts it. Only role played by God, due to its mere presence, is to attract us towards itself or ourself as what we really are.

I think that when we wake up from the death-sleep to another dream.life, we just retake the previous one where we left and the way we behave or we use our will is what decides, automatically, everything else. I agree with Bhagavan that concluding from this that karma is God, is a wrong conclusion and pure arrogance, though.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Asun, it seems you agree that in each lifetime we have to experience our prarabdha (our preordained destiny). Is this correct? You say:

The course followed by the jiva or the person is being automatically driven by its prarabdha or according to its previous actions, being both (person and prarabdha) insentient and lacking of awareness, not by God´s decision. Nor even God can change what has being already predetermined or caused by our actions or karma. Prarabdha is just the consequence.

You seem to be implying that our actions themselves create their fruits. However, Bhagavan has clearly repudiated this foolish idea because, as he implies, karma is jada, and what is jada does not have the awareness or power to decide anything. So who ordains our destiny? We have two possibilities here: either ego decides its own destiny or God decides ego’s destiny. Ego is aware and therefore has power, but such awareness and power are not real awareness and power. It borrows these things from pure awareness, which is the only reality, and therefore pure awareness is the source of all real power.

So even though Bhagavan says, ‘that God (or pure awareness) is not saṁkalpa sahitar [one who is connected with or possesses any volition or intention], Bhagavan also says everything happens because of the specialness of God’s mere presence. How do we understand this? Bhagavan’s gives two examples in this context – that of the sun and a magnet. They remain stationary in their place, but they make other things move around because of their mere presence.

As Bhagavan explains that by the mere presence of the sun, a sun-stone emits fire, lotus blossoms, water evaporates, and people of the world commence their respective activities and do those actions. Likewise, in front of a magnet, a needle automatically moves. So likewise everything happens by the power of God’s presence. The sun or the magnet has no intention to do things which happen in their presence.

So God has no intention to ordain our prarabdha, nor does God make any effort to ordain our prarabdha, but nevertheless these things are perfectly taken care of by the power of its presence. God’s presence not only gives us the appropriate fruit of our karmas, but it also selects from the collection of those fruits our prarabdha in each lifetime. God’s presence also takes care of our sanchita (the heap or pile of all our yet-to-be-experienced fruits) – that is, someone has to keep an account of our sanchita. So God has to act as our accountant, so to speak. So our actions give so much unnecessary work to Bhagavan:)


Salazar said...

Another topic where one can argue until eternity: Who or what is ordaining karma?

That's what happens when the focus is on accumulating concepts and getting lost in pointers instead to remain what we are. Karma is not real and the attempt to reconcile the concept of karma with self is preposterous and is ignorance. One cannot reconcile intellectually the 'un-real' with the real.

This argument is pointless and just a masturbation of the ego.

Asun said...

Yes, Sanjay, that´s what I´m implying. What Bhagavan repudiated is the idea that karma is God not the idea that our actions create their fruits, an idea from which those people wrongly concluded that karma is God, for obvious reasons. It is this wrong conclusion what Bhagavan clarified.

Obviously, ego couldn´t seemingly exist without the existence of pure awareness which is the only reality but this doesn´t mean that it is pure awareness what decides, nor even by its mere presence, the destiny of the jiva or the person ego mistakes to be, but ego´s will which is what drives the person´s actions, actions that, in turn, automatically create their fruits. Automatically means that, indeed, they are jada, unlike ego that is awareness. It is us who, consciously and by our own will, have pushed the rolling snowball downhill so, it is our responsibility what happens to the snowball and to whatever it may find in its way even though whatever may happen is not under our control and, in this sense, we are not responsible nor need to worry about what happens or will happen to it because, anyway it is happening and will happen so, we can happily make an appropriate use of our will and turn within. The snowball is the person and the happening is its destiny that is directly created by its actions, actions and person that, as I said before, are driven by ego´s will, not by God, as it is ego itself what creates the context for their unfolding, the same way as it does in the dream state, not God. Even though our dreams are a projection of our own mind, we haven´t any control on what goes on in them because we also appear in our dreams as a person in a world we believe that are being ruled by some God but true is that there is not such God doing anything, only us as ego perceiving-projecting everything including all that stuff of sanchita and so on so, self-investigation or turning within implies self-surrender, that´s to say, to accept whatever may happen to the person and to be unconcerned about, all of it ego´s creation, which is the crux of the matter because God is not going to overcome it by us neither, is it?

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
you say:
a.) "the best way to end all suffering is to wake up to our real nature."
I would say there is no other solution than to wake up to our real nature.

b.) "We can wake up to our real nature only by turning within and by experiencing ourself as we actually are."
However, for most of us that is no child's play (or no doddle). We evidently will face many inner and even innermost obstacles which we must get over - one after the other.
What we believe about god, world, karma and soul - in a word our philosophy - will play no great role. The most important part is our maturity around all the fields of characteristics. Only pure souls without character defects will reach the shore of eternal peace.


Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, you are mistaken, there are no obstacles to be overcome with vichara. These obstacles are an invention of the ego, they are not real. Holding to "I am" or vichara is beyond the mind and any notions of obstacles and "purity".

Where is an obstacle or purity in deep sleep? Thus "obstacles" and "purity" are an creation and projection of the mind/ego.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan doesn’t take the karma-marga as a separate path but just a preliminary stage of the bhakti-marga

Bhagavan says in verse 3 of Upadesa Undiyar:

Niṣkāmya karma [action not motivated by desire] done [with love] for God purifies the mind and [thereby] it will show the path to liberation [that is, it will enable one to recognise what the correct path to liberation is].

In verse 3, Bhagavan begins to introduce the path of karma-marga (path of selfless action) and bhakti-marga (path of selfless devotion). Bhagavan doesn’t take the karma-marga (or karma-yoga as it is sometimes called) as a separate path. He takes it to be just a preliminary stage of the bhakti-marga. That is, when we begin the path of devotion, we begin our devotion in terms of the actions of the mind, speech and body. So those actions of the mind, speech and body are what Bhagavan takes as karma-marga.

In karma-marga one engages in nishkamya-karma, which are actions not done to gain anything. In other words, in nishkamya-karma we are not seeking the fruits of our actions. But why would we engage in action if action is not motivated by desire? We are not going to do an action for no reason at all. So we do such karmas for the love of God. Whatever action we do, we do with the love of God and offering the fruit to God.

So actions which are done for the love of God will purify the mind and thereby show the path to liberation. ‘Show the path to liberation’ means it will enable one to recognise the correct path to liberation. That is, so long as our mind is impure, we will not have the clarity of discernment to recognise the correct path of liberation. That’s why the spiritual path begins with nishkamya-karma or one of the yoga practices.

So how the nishkamya-karma purifies the mind? It is not the action itself which purifies the mind, but the love with which do it purifies the mind. If we are doing it for the love of God, the more we love God, the more we are diverting our will away from other things towards God. So the stronger our love for God, the weaker our desires for other things will become.

Most people who worship God in temples or other places of worship, do so for the fulfilment of their desires. So those actions (worship) are not nishkamya-karma. Those actions are kamya-karmas. We really begin bhakti-marga when we want nothing but God himself. Only when we love God for God’s sake and stop seeking anything from God are we truly on the real bhakti-marga.

The actions may be an expression of our love, a channel through which we express our love. But it is not the actions themselves that will purify our mind but the love with which we do them.

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-06 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: Michael James discusses Upadēśa Undiyār verses 1 to 3 (00:47)

Asun said...

This last extract is a beautiful and lucid pointer for anadi-ananta´s concerns and for all of us. I downloaded this talk to keep it just because of this part.

Salazar said...

Thanks Sanjay for the excerpt on Michael's talk on 6-6-20. What he said in many words I have condensed with my comment at 16:14. "The love" Michael talks of is nothing else than holding to "I am" or vichara. "Love" here is just a gauge of how much attention is given to "I am" or self to the exclusion of everything else.

Of course that gauge is only relevant for the ego, while holding "I am" there is no gauge or love just awareness. A gauge or love materializes only when one is slacking holding "I am".

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
when you ask "Where is an obstacle or purity in deep sleep?" you overlook that vichara is usually practised not in sleep.
Obstacles are faced by most of us no matter whether they are unreal or invented by ego. Otherwise there would be jnana everywhere and with everyone.
Holding to "I am" or vichara is not beyond the mind but just done by the mind.
If you never face any "notions of obstacles" in your practice of vichara then you are happily anchored in jnana.
Because the term "purity" always seems to cause allergic reactions on you perhaps making an allergy test or taking some remedy could be relieving such irritating itches.:-)

Salazar said...

I believe one major misunderstanding persists on this blog and that is that self can only be as manonasa and everything else is not self. But even Bhagavan stated that one can [experience] be self without the complete destruction of the mind. Samadhi is an experience of self with still a mind intact.

The complete destruction of the mind is nirvana but one can be [experience] self many times before that "event". It becomes apparent when the contamination of the mind/ego has lessened to a greater extend and one realizes that mind/ego was never one's existence but only self is. And for that direct experience to transpire a complete destruction of the mind is not necessary. Of course until liberation [and complete destruction of mind], vichara is still required.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, I do not concur with your last comment. I believe I made clear in previous comments why vichara is not done by the mind including quoting Sadhu Om stating the same thing.

But I certainly cannot dispel ignorance since even Bhagavan cannot do that task with you. Why? Because you do not let him. You stubbornly cling on false beliefs.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Asun, it seems to be that knowingly or unknowingly you are trying to reiterate the beliefs of the Darukavana rishis. These misguided ‘rishis’ believed that their actions themselves will give them fruits. So they completely disregarded the role played by God in dispensing of the fruits of actions.

The action done by our will create fruits, which we may experience in one of our future lives. These fruits are in the form of our bodily or worldly experiences which we undergo in each of our lives. Our actions create fruits, but these fruits are decided by God.

We may kill a person, for example, but it is only God who can decide what is to be the fruit of such an action. If I am a soldier and if I kill my enemy in a battle, I may get a good fruit for this act. If I murder my neighbour, it will obviously carry a bad fruit. Who decides these fruits? Only God. So what is a good action or a bad action or neutral action is decided by the power we call God. Our actions will not give us fruits if there is no God to decide on the type of fruit our actions deserve. So the role of God is absolutely central in the law of karma as taught to us by Bhagavan.

You say, ‘this doesn´t mean that it is pure awareness what decides, nor even by its mere presence, the destiny of the jiva or the person ego mistakes to be, but ego´s will which is what drives the person´s actions, actions that, in turn, automatically create their fruits’. This pure awareness is what we call God in the context of the law of karma. If pure awareness doesn’t decide the fruits of our actions, what is the other power that has the capacity to decide the fruits of our actions?

This pure and infinite awareness is what we actually are, so we are infinite in our true and essential nature. However, we have now limited ourself to the form of a body, and as this body, we seem to be apart from this pure, infinite awareness. So our true nature which is infinite and pure awareness seems to us to be God, and this God seems to be a power apart from ourself. However, there is no God apart from our true self. This God or pure awareness ordains the fruits of our karmas because that power of God or power of pure awareness is the only power that exists.

You say, ‘we believe that are being ruled by some God but true is that there is no such God doing anything’, but don’t we see things being done all around us. Who is enabling all these things to happen? What is the power controlling the movement of the planets? What is the power that decides that the earth will revolve on its axis and will also rotate around the sun? What is the power which controls the change in seasons? What is the power which is in charge of all the physiological functions within our body?

We have to admit that there is a power which makes all these things possible. This power is what we call parameshvara shakti (the supreme power of God or the supreme ruling power), and this power is inherent in pure awareness. In fact, this power is not apart from pure awareness. Shiva is shakti, and shakti is shiva. It is this shakti which is one with pure awareness that is ordaining the fruits of our actions by its mere presence.




Sanjay Lohia said...

Correction:

Asun, it seems to me that knowingly or unknowingly you are trying to reiterate the beliefs of the Darukavana rishis.

Asun said...

Well, Sanjay, it could be said so if it not were for the circumstance that I´ve been born some thousands of years after them and I came across with the teachings actualized by Bhagavan so, I don´t take God to be pure awareness, since it rises along with ego and sets also with it, while pure awareness always is, as it is, not depending on anything to be unlike the body-person, god and world which depend on ego to be and ego, in turn, on pure awareness. Fortunately, this prevents me, as ego, from believing that I´m pure awareness as well as pushes me to turn towards my source and surrender the power that I, as ego, am, to pure awareness, its legitimate owner. Let´s say that we have been taken a step forwards those people by Bhagavan´s teachings appearing in our present dream :)

I find your explanations as confusing as Michael´s statement with regard to this issue of God and I don´t think you are getting my point but I can´t explain myself better than what I´ve been trying so, I´ll stop here by saying that whereas sakti is shiva, shiva is not sakti, that´s to say, whereas ego is pure awareness, pure awareness is not ego.
Thanks for kindly listening to me.

Salazar said...

Shakti and Siva are both co-mingled and one cannot exist without the other one. In fact both terms are only relevant in the phenomenal world, since in all reality there is only self.

So to say shaki is siva but siva is not shakti is nonsense.

anadi-ananta said...

Shakti is perhaps an aspect of Siva.

Salazar said...

No anadi-ananta, both are equal and as much as shakti would be an aspect of siva then siva would be equally an aspect of shakti.

Asun said...

Ego, mind or shakti is what Bhagavan defines in “Nan Ar?” as “a wondrous power residing in the Self. It causes all thoughts to arise.” Ego, mind, or shakti is not ourself because ourself is neither the cause of ego and anything rising nor it ever rises as ego. It is only the rising of ego or I-thought what “causes all thoughts to arise”, that´s to say: the body-person, god and world.

Salazar said...

You are mixing up stuff. Siva-shakti is not shakti and one cannot use the singular description for shakti in reference to the shakti of siva-shakti. Well, the ego gets quickly confused with these concepts and terms, i.e. Bhagavan used the term siva for different things and thus people without a thorough knowledge of his teachings must go astray quickly.

But that is all not necessary to know anyway, vichara is all what is be needed to know without even the concepts of Nan Yar which are, as I can see, misused by certain confused ones here.

Salazar said...

Just to be clear, the shakti in siva-shakti is NOT the mind and also usually not understood that way by itself. Bhagavan calling sometimes shakti the mind is and has been the source of great confusion by many foremost because it is not mind in many other aspects when the term shakti is used! So to generalize certain definitions is a major rookie mistake.

anadi-ananta said...

I don't even know myself. How then could I know the real significance of Siva and Shakti ? Perhaps I am not different from them in the slightest.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, exactly! We do not know our self but here we are discussing imaginary terms read somewhere and keep spinning endlessly the mind. How can we presume to know or understand concepts when we are not knowing self?

Even taking the words of Bhagavan is tainted by our ignorance [of not knowing self].

Asun said...

Michael has responded these two questions, why ego is ultimately ourself and why ourself is not ego, in some of his articles. If someone is interested in Bhagavan´s teachings and in studying them, I´d suggest them a search in the archive of this blog. Advantage with S.Ramana Maharshi is that he simplified all these stuffs quite a lot. As for the rest:
So, is David Godman still remarried or has he re-divorced already?

Anonymous said...

Siva is potential energy and Shakti is dynamic in nature. Ego is Maya Shakti- one type of Shiva-Shakti.

Anonymous said...

If Vichara is not done by the mind, then you are implying vichara is done by self and that contradicts the meaning of self.

Salazar said...

Anonymous, the mind cannot hold or be "I am" because the mind is, per Bhagavan's definition, a bunch of thoughts. "I am" is thoughtless and mindless.

"I am" or vichara is beyond the mind, it is beyond duality. That's why vichara or "I am" is the only way to be self. It is BEING [without thoughts]. The mind is NOT being, it is a thought or flow of thoughts.

That's why there is also not a becoming or realization as Bhagavan stressed, it is rather the fading away of a delusional imagination called mind/ego and what remains is that what always IS, self.

Everything non-dual is contradictory for the mind since it encompasses both dyads what the mind cannot fathom.


Anybody who is not agreeing with the above is not doing vichara correctly.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, you said to me "when you ask "Where is an obstacle or purity in deep sleep?" you overlook that vichara is usually practised not in sleep."

Yes, but that question 'where is purity and obstacle in deep sleep' is referring to that there is no mind in deep sleep since you are not aware of such notions. Hence when in the morning the mind rises also the concept of an obstacle and purity rises. That is a fundamental teaching by Bhagavan and you should have grasped that concept since also Michael has mentioned that countless times. It seems you are not paying attention or you simply do not get it.

So, obstacles and purity are an invention of the mind and will be there unless one stops paying attention to the mind and attends to self. That is vichara!!!
The point is, without vichara the mind will never be able to get rid of "obstacles" because as long as it exists (without doing vichara) also obstacles seem to exist. Thus your suggestion that one (as the mind) has to overcome obstacles in lieu of vichara is sheer BS.

The mind trying to fix things is like making the thief a police man Bhagavan exclaimed, that can never work.

Why do I have to repeat constantly the same fundamentals by Bhagavan? We had that kind of dialog years ago and you still cling at the same BS without actually grasping what Bhagavan taught.

No, you even had the audacity in the past to say that the above is a wrong interpretation of Bhagavan's teaching. I rarely have encountered such a stubborn mind as yours.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
thanks for explaining to me your mode/concept of obstacle-free/distortion-free vichara.

As an "obstacle" I consider all mind-born kinds of disruptions, interferences, disruptive elements or factors, disturbances of keen self-attention.

Tell me who or what is mistakenly paying attention to the mind and
who or what is then attending to self ? Is it not again the mind itself ?

To your statement "Thus your suggestion that one (as the mind) has to overcome obstacles in lieu of vichara is sheer BS." I must reply: Do not distort the facts !
I never spoke of "in lieu of vichara". That is rather an invention of your mind.:-)
By the way, of course I do not dare in the slightest to claim doing vichara correctly.

On the other side I agree on you saying "without vichara the mind will never be able to get rid of "obstacles" because as long as it exists (without doing vichara) also obstacles seem to exist."

Asun said...

Some self-proclaimed enlightened people have done so much harm. Their main goal is, through rude and paradoxical statements, to break down the conceptual mind and the identification with the person that they mistake with ego as they mistake ego with pure awareness, but most of their followers are left with a very confusing mind, fighting with concepts at a conceptual level and yet believing that they are “beyond mind”, unable to fit all the pieces. It is a pity.

A dense, chaotic, overactive and overreacting mind has firstly to be slowed down, it cannot be suddenly stopped and get immersed in the thought-free state as they pretend hence, their rejection and overreaction to terms such as “purification” “process” and so on, and in case it happens, it probably will lead to imbalance. Bhagavan´s path has nothing to do with all of that, though they pretend not only that it has but that they are above and have moved beyond Bhagavan´s teachings precisely because, to really understand Bhagavan´s teachings it is necessary to go through a process of purification or clarification of mind that enables us to understand the subtlety of his teachings as it prepares mind for its complete subsidence in a smooth, safe and effective way. Reading or hearing, reflecting and doing self-investigation are not different and separated things, with Bhagavan´s teachings it is all a whole and it is so for everyone, not only for a mind as Michael´s mind, as I was told on this very blog, it doesn´t matter if we are misjudged as "intellectual people" by some others.

From the true premise that subsidence of ego happens in a split second, they wrongly conclude that anything that implies time, as it happens with the process of preparation that Bhagavan taught, it is unnecessary and a way of reinforcing ego when it is exactly the opposite, actually. The more we abide as “I am”, the more ego subsides but so long as it keeps rising, because it hasn´t known itself as what it really is which would make impossible for it to mistake itself to be anything other than what it is never again, it is practice and the practice is for ego and done by ego. If nor even this can be understood we shouldn´t be surprised reading statements such as that it is ourself what practices self-investigation or that “”love” (in quotation marks) is just a “gauge” of how much attention is given to “I am””. This is just a further demonstration that vichara has not been understood nor practiced correctly. Awareness is itself love and the more we experience it in our practice and merge with it, the more ego is destroyed or melted in the most easy, sweet and safe way, “the way to love”, as the title of one Michael´s article says, through love, the true form of ourself and the highest form of intelligence. This is Bhagavan´s path.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, in that case - my apologies. And I was not pointing the finger at you of not doing vichara correctly, I really couldn't know. Also, being distracted from vichara due to outside phenomena is not 'incorrect' vichara, that is just as it is [for now]. As Michael said, the key is to keep at it and not be discouraged by seemingly feeble attempts. Like the story of the bird who lost his egg over the ocean and looking for his egg started to drain the ocean with his beak while never being discouraged by this seemingly monumentous task :-)

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar, regarding monumental task,
compared with me the bird can count itself lucky to have drained the one ocean, because I seem to have to drain all the oceans of the universe in order to find the egg of eternal happiness. :-)

anadi-ananta said...

Asun,
thank you for your beautiful sentence "Awareness is itself love and the more we experience it in our practice and merge with it, the more ego is destroyed or melted in the most easy, sweet and safe way,...", which I consider as very true.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, I am afraid there is no merging, that is an imagination of mind and also would constitute two selves, one who would merge with another one. That is an delusion. There is only one mind and one self without a second. Thus merging is suttarivu, a product of and actually ego itself.

Salazar said...

Merging is not real according to Bhagavan. It does not stand the test for reality according to him. Thus it is part of delusion and keeps the mind bound.

Salazar said...

"Merging" is not vichara because instead to "BE" the mind imagines to "become". There is no becoming with vichara, that would make it an inferior method like vipassana meditation.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
regarding "merging",
on the level of linguistic communication we can use quite well figurative descriptions without going into a risky area or even getting lost in delusion. :-)
When you say "There is only one mind and one self without a second." do you not self start out from two selves ?

Asun said...

Ulladu Narpadu, verse 22:

“Consider, except by, turning the mind back within, completely immersing it in God, who shines within that mind giving light to the mind, how to fathom God by the mind?”


Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, no - because mind and self are identical.

Salazar said...

Ulladu Narpadu, verse 22: Immersing is not merging. The first is BEING self while the latter is moving towards self.

Sages use dual concepts to point to non-dual reality. Even though Bhagavan used terms like "immersing" or "diving" there is truly no such activity in relation to self. Because mind and self are one.

There cannot be a move or merge by the mind/ego. Where should it go? Self is neither the center nor circumference of any location.

So in fact there is also no "turning within". To where or which location is the mind turning to? That must be quite obvious to anybody who is practicing vichara for awhile.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
regarding "merging",
Michael writes in his article of 2019-02-20: Since ego is aware of things other than itself, it obscures our real nature, which is aware of nothing other than itself, so in order to be aware of ourself as we actually are we must be willing to surrender this ego by turning it back within to merge in its source

Ego’s awareness serves a limited purpose in enabling us to be aware of the appearance of phenomena, but unlike real awareness it cannot enable us to see what we actually are. In fact it obscures our real nature, so in order to be aware of ourself as we actually are we must be willing to surrender this ego by turning it back within to merge in its source, as Bhagavan says in verse 22 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu:

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, figuratively speaking one can use the verb "merge" as Michael and others have used it. However in all reality there is no actual merging, there is no move of the ego to its source. How would that transpire?

Nobody can answer that question but as an abstract imagination what is mind. It simply doesn't happen.

As I said in my previous comment, to where would the ego go to? That move is entirely an imagination like when you imagine you are walking up a hill or, in the stories of the Near-Death-Experience people, you are walking towards the "light". It is all an imagination.

The more important part of verse 22 is, "who shines within that mind giving light to the mind, how to fathom God by the mind?” what points to the non-dual nature of self or 'God' what Bhagavan used here as a synonym for self. Self/God cannot be fathomed by the mind, nor can it move or merge with self/God, because it never existed as a mind.

Mind creates itself and gives itself seeming reality. However it never exists or existed but as an imagination like when you imagine talking to Krishna. Vichara dispels that imaginative reality of the mind/ego with being self. That does not involve any action or movement because then it would be mind again.

Only the mind acts or moves, in vichara there is no movement or action of any kind, it is BEING only.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Salazar, I agree with you when you say, ‘figuratively speaking one can use the verb "merge" as Michael and others have used it. However in all reality there is no actual merging’.

Two things can merge and become one if they existed as individual entities before their merger. However, ego doesn’t merge in its source like one entity merging into another entity. Though ego seems to be an entity as long as it exists, when we closely look at it, we realise that ego simply doesn’t exist. So there is no actual merger. This ego just vanishes from the scene because it was just an illusion. What remains is what we actually are. So this is asparsh-yoga: that is, we merge in our source without actually merging.

Asun said...

There is nothing figurative in the merging or union of ego with ourself. It is this cold, dry, lifeless stuff you are making out of it what is pure imagination, a mere and meaningless intellectual abstraction that has to nothing to do with the truth and reality of spirituality, Ramana´s teachings and his path. Just talk for talk´s sake. I can understand the disappointment and anger of some people when they are questioned but this is going too far. It´s completely ridiculous.

Michael says in section 4 of this article:

“ in order for ego to be annihilated, it must be dissolved as a result of experiencing pure awareness. That is, it must experience pure awareness prior to being dissolved. “

In verse 999 of GVK:

“Even by those who have united [with Self], the
happiness of union cannot be thought of but can only
be experienced. Those who have united [cannot think
even of] the method by which they have attained [that
state of] Silence, annihilating the ego-sense in that
anandatitam [that state transcending bliss].”

And Bhagavan on his own experience:

“In direct knowing, you can feel yourself one with the One that exists. The whole body becomes a mere power, a force-current.
Your life becomes a needle drawn to a huge mass of magnet; and, as you go deeper and deeper, you become a mere center and then not even that; for you become a mere consciousness. There are no thoughts or cares any longer, they were shattered at the threshold.
It is an inundation. You are a mere straw, you are swallowed alive, but it is very delightful. For you become the very thing that swallows you. This is the union of the individual with the Absolute, self with Reality, the loss of ego in the real Self, the destruction of falsehood, the attainment of Truth.”

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
you mean asparśa-yoga, (what Gaudapada calls the yōga of non-touching).

anadi-ananta said...

Regarding "merging",
for instance: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 20: where ‘I am this’ merges, what remains shining is 'I am I'.

English translation: In the place where ‘I’ merges, that, the one, appears spontaneously [or as oneself] as 'I am I'. That itself is pūṉḏṟam [the infinite whole or pūrṇa].

As Michael said "Though the ultimate truth is ajāta, thinking that there is no ego or bondage and that we are eternally free is not of much use to us so long as we seem to be bound by experiencing ourself as this ego. Since we now experience all the limitations imposed on us by this ego, and since everything else that we are aware of seems to exist only because we experience ourself as this ego, we need some means (sādhana) by which we can free ourself from this illusion (vivarta), so Bhagavan concedes that in our view this illusion seems to exist, but he says that the root of it all is only this ego that we now seem to be, and that if we investigate this ego sufficiently keenly we will find that it is not actually the finite person that it seems to be but is only the infinite and indivisible space of pure self-awareness, other than which nothing exists."

Straightforwardly I must state: If one does not understand what metaphorically or figurative speaking means, one will hardly develop the required viveka (in order to to destroy our self-ignorance (ajñāna)and thus experience our true nature).

anadi-ananta said...

Asun,
when you say "This is the union of the individual with the Absolute, self with Reality, the loss of ego in the real Self, the destruction of falsehood, the attainment of Truth.” you should bear in mind that perhaps someone clever-clever will retort that
1.) there is no individual and
2.) there is no ego, no mind at all and so on but only atma-svarupa.

Therefore take cover !:-)

Sanjay Lohia said...

So long as we are facing away from ourself, we are rising as ego and engaging in action

Bhagavan teaches us in verse 2 of Upadesa Undiyar:

The fruit of [an] action having perished [by being experienced], [remaining] as a seed [a karma-vāsanā or propensity to do the same kind of action] it causes [one] to fall in the ocean of action. [Therefore] it [action] does not give liberation.

The fruit has an edible part and a seed. The edible part is the fruit of action. This fruit of action is what we experience in each lifetime as prarabdha, and yet to be experienced fruits are what is stored in sanchita. Sanchita means the heap or pile of the fruits of the past actions which is yet to be experienced. It is from this pile of the fruits of past karmas that in each lifetime God selects a small portion to be experienced as destiny.

So when we experience the fruit of action, that fruit is finished but the seed remains. That seed is the vasana or the inclination or propensity to do the same type of action again and again. It is because of vasanas that we never exhaust our karmas. It is because of the vasanas which are left after every action that actions are self-perpetuating. It never comes to an end.

That’s why Bhagavan says action causes one to fall into the ocean of action, and therefore, Bhagavan concludes, action does not give liberation. In the Sanskrit version of this verse, Bhagavan says actions obstruct liberation. So action not only does not give liberation, it actually obstructs liberation. So long as we continue to engage in actions, actions are endless. So what is the way out?

As Bhagavan used to say liberation is not actually obtained by doing anything but by just being. So the ultimately the only way to attain liberation is to give up all doing and just be. In order to give up doing and just be, we need to cease rising as ego. In order to cease rising as ego, we need to investigate ourself – that means, we need to turn our attention back within.

So summa iru (just being) is the key to liberation. So long as we are facing away from ourself, we are rising as ego and engaging in action. So if we want to refrain from actions, we need to turn our attention within.

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-06 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: Michael James discusses Upadēśa Undiyār verses 1 to 3 (00:39)

My reflection: Why does Michael say, ‘So long as we are facing away from ourself, we are rising as ego and engaging in action. So if we want to refrain from actions, we need to turn our attention within?’ It is because so long as we face away from ourself, we will experience our thoughts, all these phenomena, some of which seem to be mental and some physical. As long as we experience these phenomena, we will like some phenomena and dislikes some phenomena. So we will try to experience more of what we like and try to avoid those experiences which we dislike, and such likes and dislikes will drive up to act in various ways by the mind, speech and body. All such actions done by our will are agamya.

Our every agamya will create a corresponding fruit of that action and will also leave behind a seed, a vasana. These vasanas are of two kinds: karma-vasana and vishaya-vasana. Karma-vasanas are our inclination to do the same type of action again and again, and vishaya-vasanas are our inclination to experience the same phenomena again and again. These two types of vasanas are like two sides of a single piece of paper. They always co-exist.

These vasanas push us into the ocean of actions and obstruct liberation. So, how to give up these vasanas? We can do so by unceasing self-investigation and self-surrender. We do not have any other effective and quick way of giving up our vasanas.



Asun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Asun said...

It was Bhagavan who said that, anadi-ananta, not me. They are his own words on his own experience and where his teachings come from.

Salazar said...

Sanjay, exactly and I do concur. It is difficult to fathom that there are not really two entities but one. When I say that there is no individual or ego then I am just repeating Bhagavan words. And he didn't say "you are self, BUT only after you have merged with or realized it", he said "you ARE self". He didn't mean with that, "you are enlightened" (what is anyway not relevant) but to say that ego and self are truly the same and that one has only to change the ignorant belief to be an ego. Therefore he suggested summa iru or vichara.
That goes along with the snake/rope analogy.

The snake and rope are identical, as is the ego and self. As much as the snake is not merging or having a "union" with the rope as much cannot the ego "merge" or have a union with self. Alas many spiritual aspirants, especially those who do not follow Bhagavan's teachings, have not grasped these pointers which point to the non-dual reality. And it seems that some people on this blog have also not fully grasped Bhagavan.

That's why Bhagavan said we cannot become or realize self since we are already self. The ego is just confused and clings at the ignorance of independent existence.

Salazar said...

Also Bhagavan has warned about seeing oneself as being "non-self". Because as long as one believes one has to "attain", "merge", "realize", "have union with" then one confirms to be ego and one cannot EVER be self, since the need to realize undermines the actuality of the true existence of being self and simply states "I am ego!".
Thus a realization can never take place with the idea of becoming or having a union.

That's why many aspirants just experience more subtle forms of the mind/ego and that can be endless and even conjure up ideas of being "enlightened" while just chasing the subtle imaginations of the mind.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, what you posted on 12 June 2020 at 12:38 of what Michael has said does not contradict my recent comments. And I do concur with Michael. What it means is, and that's what I keep saying, that vichara is required.

Vichara is not facilitating any "merging" or "union" or "realization", it just is being self. All notions of dying of a mind are as unreal as the mind itself. The mind feeds itself with ideas. So ANY idea IS ego. That includes the idea of realization or union.

Again, since the mind understands conceptually only in dual terms sages like Bhagavan, and also Muruganar, use terms which may imply changes like "diving into" but those are just pointers so the mind can get an idea on the level of its own understanding, however the truth and reality is beyond the mind or in non-dual reality and that cannot be explained in conceptual terms since it includes both dyads.

So to take certain verbs literally is a big mistake due to a lack of full understanding which only can come with the grace of the guru and silence of the mind.

Salazar said...

And, by all means, I am [as ego] not implying to have full understanding, the ego can never have full understanding. True understanding is only in Silence.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan is a combination of total love and total dispassion

Sri Ramaswami Iyer: I was present at the time of nirvana of Sri Bhagavan's mother. When the life was ebbing away from her, Sri Bhagavan kept his hands on her head and heart. He just walked away after she left the body as if he was in no way connected. There was a discussion whether the body should be cremated or buried. When Sri Bhagavan was asked, he simply said, 'Just throw it into a bush'. But how could they do it? A temple came up on her samadhi.

Extracted from the magazine ‘Sri Ramana Jyothi’ (June 2020 issue). This extract appears in one of its articles called ‘Sri Ramaswami Iyer’

My reflection: Bhagavan is a combination of complete love and complete dispassion. When Bhagavan’s mother lay there dying, he kept his hands on her head and heart, so this is complete love. However, when the task of saving her was over, he had no attachment to her body. Apparently, he said ‘Just throw it [the body] into a bush’. By saying so Bhagavan is showing us how we should treat our body. It is a thing which needs to be discarded or thrown away as soon as possible.

How can we discard our body? We can do so only by self-investigation. If we experience ourself as we actually are, we will not only discard this body but also give up the possibility of taking ourself to be any body ever again.

anadi-ananta said...

Asun,
do you perhaps mean the text on the inner wall on the right side of the so called New Hall (seen from its main entrance)? That wall is also the outside wall of the Mother's temple (Matrubhuteshvara Temple). However, on the board of that wall is a description of Ramana's death experience (in July 1896 in Madurai) which I have seen already at my first visit there in February 2000 - if I remember correctly.

Salazar said...

Sanjay, that's a great story and I hear it for the first time. My thanks!

My reflection to your reflection: Bhagavan is complete love but that love is impersonal love, the love for/as self. Bhagavan, as self, loved his mother, as self. So it was not the individual or entity (as Bhagavan) who loved another entity (his mother), it was self loving it-self.

anadi-ananta said...

Asun,
ah, I see now you have deleted your today's comment of 13:26 and instead of it you wrote a new one at 13:54 without referring to any text on a wall in Sri Ramanasramam.
So my question put at 16:26 is to no avail.:-)

Sanjay Lohia said...

Salazar, I agree. Bhagavan is that impersonal love because in his view there are no persons. So, yes, he loved his mother as himself and not as someone apart from him.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
because already then in 1922 the temple authorities did not allow neither to bury nor to cremate a corpse on the hill Alagammal's body was carried down to the foot of Arunachala.
You reflect:"If we experience ourself as we actually are, we will not only discard this body but also give up the possibility of taking ourself to be any body ever again."
So evidently the necessity to slip into a body (gross or subtle) is just the result of not experiencing ourself as we actually are.:-)

Salazar said...

One can argue about certain terms or one can put concepts to the test with vichara: When being "I am" there is, in my experience, no movement or action of any kind, there is certainly no movement to the source, one IS the source. And there is no "one" who is the source either since it is just 'existent being'. There is no 'merging' or 'union' and there will be never a merge or union.

That 'existent being' never changes its "quality", it is always the same. "After" vichara or "I am" the mind may believe that the 'experience' of "I am" [and it is not really an experience since there is no mind in "I am") has become 'clearer' or 'deeper' but that is just the imagination of mind. It's the mind only which "gauges" and that is maya too.

Salazar said...

What good does a quote of Upadēśa Undiyār when it stays just as a concept of the mind? Nothing at all. It stays as a blind belief. Bhagavan urged to put his teachings to the test via summa iru or vichara.

To run around and quote from Bhagavan's texts without having at least some direct experience via vichara is like trying to cross the river on a crocodile.

Salazar said...

Re. Bhagavan's "death experience": The exact words by him have not been recorded and many accounts are "dramatized". Also, the worse one can do is to imagine "that will be the way for me too" [some day ;-)].

Too many, including old pal Roger Isaacs, take parts of these dramatizations and use it for their own agenda and their concept ridden notions of "self-realization".

It certainly is better to take literally Bhagavan's numerous statements that the self is NOT being realized.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
regarding the alleged quotation 'Just throw it into a bush' in the sentence
"There was a discussion whether the body should be cremated or buried. When Sri Bhagavan was asked, he simply said, 'Just throw it into a bush',

in book 1 (Biography) of "Arunachala Ramana - Eternal Ocean of Grace", chapter 53. Azhagammal's Liberation there is no hint to the somehow disrespectful saying of Bhagavan as quoted Sri Ramaswami Iyer by the mentioned extract from the magazine ‘Sri Ramana Jyothi’ (June 2020 issue). Rather it is said there: "It was the idea of Bhagavan and every one present, that the body should be carried down and interred without any ostentation." Some lines above I read Bhagavan having said:"Since Jnana (Knowledge) and Mukti (Deliverance) do not differ with the difference of sex, the body of a woman Saint also need not be burnt. Her* body too, is the abode of God."
(* we speak about Mother's body).
So I have some doubt whether the report of Sri Ramaswami Iyer is giving the exact/literal wording of Bhagavan's saying.

Salazar said...

I highly doubt that Bhagavan has ever used the word "delightful". Asun's so called quote by Bhagavan she's posted on 12 June 2020 at 11:14 is copied from Facebook posted by an obscure source.

I highly doubt that this is a true quote by Bhagavan.

Salazar said...

Why is Asun getting so excited and exasperated in her comments? Who is going too far? With what? Just more BS by the master of projection.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay, you say at 13:20 today/12 June 2020:
"So, how to give up these vasanas? We can do so by unceasing self-investigation and self-surrender. We do not have any other effective and quick way of giving up our vasanas."
I wish all aspirants the best with unceasing self-investigation and self-surrender. Good luck ! May your wishes come true.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Go and do nothing, either good or bad; remain yourself (part one)

I received the following in a WhatsApp forward:

Conversation with Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi..... It was a summer evening, and we were all sitting outside in the open space by the well. Suddenly one of the visitors started weeping bitterly.

'I am a horrible sinner. For a long time I have been coming to you, but there is no change in me. Can I become pure at last? How long am I to wait? When I am here near you, I am good for a time. But when I leave this place, I become a beast again. You cannot imagine how bad I can be -- hardly a human being. Am I to remain a sinner forever?'

'Why do you come to me? What have I to do with you?' demanded Bhagavan. 'What is there between us that you should come here and weep and cry in front of me?'

The man started moaning and crying even more, as if his heart were breaking.
'All my hopes of salvation are gone. You were my last refuge and you say you have nothing to do with me! To whom shall I turn now? What am I to do? To whom am I to go?'

Bhagavan watched him for some time and said, 'Am I your Guru that I should be responsible for your salvation? Have I ever said that I am your Master?'

'If you are not my Master, then who is? And who are you, if not my Master? You are my Guru. You are my guardian angel. You must take pity me and release me from my sins!'

He started sobbing and crying again.

We all sat silent, overcome with pity. Only Bhagavan looked alert and matter-of-fact.
'If I am your Guru, what are my fees? Surely you should pay me for my services.'

'But you won't take anything,' cried the visitor. 'What can I give you?'

'Did I ever say that I don't take anything? And did you ever ask me what you can give me?'

'If you would take, then ask me. There is nothing I would not give you.'

'All right. Now I am asking. Give me. What will you give me?'
'Take anything. Everything I have is yours.'

'Then give me all the good you have done in this world.'

(To be continued in my next comment)

~ Krishna Bhikshu in: 'The Power of the Presence', Part Three, by David Godman



Sanjay Lohia said...

Go and do nothing, either good or bad; remain yourself (part two)

'What good could I have done? I have not a single virtue to my credit.'

'You have promised to give. Now give. Don't talk of your credit. Just give away all the good you have done in your past.'

'Yes, I shall give. But how does one give? Tell me how the giving is done and I shall give.'

'Say like this: "All the good I have done in the past I am giving away entirely to my Guru. Henceforth I have no merit from it nor have I any concern with it." Say it with your whole heart.'

'All right, Swami. "I am giving away to you all the good I have done so far, if I have done any, and all its good effects. I am giving it to you gladly, for you are my Master and you are asking me to give it all away to you.'

'But this is not enough,' said Bhagavan sternly.

'I gave you all I have and all you asked me to give. I have nothing more to give.'

'No, you have. Give me all your sins.'

The man looked wildly at Bhagavan, terror stricken.
'You do not know, Swami, what you are asking for. If you knew, you would not ask me. If you take over my sins, your body will rot and burn. You do not know me, you do not know my sins. Please do not ask me for my sins.'
He wept bitterly.

'I shall look after myself. Don't you worry about me,' said Bhagavan. 'All I want from you is your sins.'

For a long time the bargain would not go through. The man refused to part with his sins. But Bhagavan was adamant.

'Either give me your sins along with your merits, or keep both and don't think of me as your Master."

In the end the visitor's scruples broke down and he declared, 'Whatever sins I have done, they are no longer mine. All of them and their results, too, belong to Ramana.'

Bhagavan seemed to be satisfied. 'From now on there is no good nor bad in you. You are just pure. Go and do nothing, either good or bad. Remain yourself. Remain what you are.'

A great peace fell over the man and over us all. No one knows what happened to the fortunate visitor, for he was never seen in the ashram again. He might have had no further need to come.

~ Krishna Bhikshu in: 'The Power of the Presence', Part Three, by David Godman

Sanjay Lohia said...

Chit-shakti

I had the following conversation with Michael recently:

Sanjay Lohia: Bhagavan teaches us in paragraph 4 of Nan Ar?:

What is called mind is an atiśaya śakti [an extraordinary power] that exists in ātma-svarūpa [the ‘own form’ or real nature of oneself]. It makes all thoughts appear [or projects all thoughts].

So, as Bhagavan says 'mind is an atisaya sakti that exists in atma-svarupa'. Is it correct to say that the power that enables this mind to exist in atma-svarupa is the chit-sakti (the primal power which is one with pure awareness)? Or is this mind itself the chit-sakti? Please help clarify this.

Michael James: Cit-sakti is the real nature of the mind, in the same way as a rope is the real nature of an illusory snake.

My reflection: So chit-shakti is what we actually are. Chit-shakti is our natural state. What actually exists is only chit-shakti: chit is shakti; shakti is chit. It is one, non-dual, reality.

However, when we experience ourself as this mind, this is a distorted form of chit-shakti. Though the mind borrows its powers from chit-shakti, it is merely a superimposition on the chit-shakti. So the more we attend to the mind, the more it will give way, and what will remain is just chit-shakti in all its purity. We are aiming to experience this chit-shakti in all its purity and clarity. 'I' in its purity is identical with pure chit-shakti.

Asun said...

Bye, anadi-ananta. Wishing you all the best too.

I was surprised the first time I heard Michael to say that Bhagavan´s teachings are not for everybody and that nor even people that claim to be their devotees are really following them but along this year a could see this by myself.

Entity refers to ego or the false awareness aware of itself as this body-person. So long as ego mistakes itself to be a body-person, there appear to be a separated entity existing on its own. This entity is the doer and so long as there is a doer, it is the doer what suffers and enjoys the fruits that its own actions create which is karma. Taking karma by God is what is foolish, not the ascertained by everyone fact that actions create their fruits.
When Bhagavan talks about ego knowing itself as what it really is and merging with its source, he is not talking about the union of two entities, as some people insist in claiming due to their confusing and superficial understanding, people who spread their confusion everywhere they go confusing others. He is talking on ego as mind, the false awareness that, through the practice of self-investigation, has discriminated and separated itself from the body-person, surrenders itself to pure awareness by turning inwards and recognizes and understands that its awareness is not the real one but a mere reflection of true awareness which allows it to perceive-project phenomena, including the person it mistakes to be. However, it only can completely subside by knowing itself as what it really is. This knowing is not different from experiencing and what is experienced by ego before its complete subsidence is the union with ourself that “cannot be thought but only can be experienced” as it is put in verse 999 of GVK because as Bhagavan says in verse 22 of Ulladu Narpadu, how otherwise to fathom God or pure awareness by mind?.

I don´t know what these people claiming that they are doing vichara are really doing but it is not vichara. In the practice of vichara the love flowing out from the happiness that is pure awareness can be experienced in a lesser or greater degree which is, precisely, what encourages us to go on practicing and deepening the practice. Nothing to do with all this silly talk on non-duality, no-mind and blah, blah, blah, that gets people stuck with words and caught by the concepts they pretend to have overcome. Quite the opposite, but they are so blinded by the arrogance of an intellect at the service of ego´s no purified will that they can´t see their own poor, overactive and compulsive state. Once again, this has nothing to do with the practice of vichara that brings peace and contentment about, not only for a while but as a continuum in our life, but rather “yoga-ego”, or the union with ego, as Michael said in his talk and “atma-snap” I´d say, after reading what they mistake with atma-vichara, the vivid and full aware abiding as “I am” that, in turn, has its own action on us.

I´m sorry about them but truth is that, to me, the more they try to ridicule and parody Bhagavan´s teachings and path, the more the truth and deepness underlying them, in contrast, shines forth.

Asun said...

"I could see this by myself", sorry.

anadi-ananta said...

Asun,
thank you for your good wishes. One can need them all the time.
But why do you give me a farewell ? Or do you say goodbye to me ? :-)
In any case what you say "However, it only can completely subside by knowing itself as what it really is." I consider very true because you are speaking about ego/mind.

When you bemoan the lamentable display of behavioural problems of "these people"(*)
I easily agree with your view that they perhaps may have gone soft in the head - although it is not all wrong what they comment.
Regarding your remark in the last sentence "...the more the truth and deepness underlying them, in contrast, shines forth." the personal pronoun "them" refers surely to Bhagavan's teachings and path.
So sometimes we seem to be in a theatre of the absurd.:-)
So let us keep (up) investigating to whom all the mentioned clownish and crazy behaviour appears...
(*) Why are you afraid to make it perfectly clear which people you are talking about by addressing "some/these people" with their (commentator-) names ? They cannot bite your head off.:-)

Asun said...

Yes, to you and everybody else. For me it is time to go underground, so to speak :)

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, we do not have to beat around the bush, she's referring to me. That's just her way of pretending to be ...... polite? Or humble? Well, that's her game as are most of her comments.

But do not worry, it is not a far stretch of imagination that she'll show up again :-)

Re. the "proper way" of vichara: As long as there is an experience perceived [while doing vichara] like "I am loving" then with absolute certainty one is not practicing vichara at all! It is, as David Godman liked to say, cargo cult inquiry.

Asun complained about my "cold" and loveless description and that shows that she has not grasped vichara. That "cold" and "loveless" is how ego can perceive self. Because there is no perception of love in self at all! That is only the mind/ego!

As long as one believes to "feeling love" one is not attending to self! That is a matter of fact!

Nothing else to say to this.

anadi-ananta said...

Asun,
going underground, ah, like Vishnu took the form of a boar and burrowed down into the earth to find the base of the column of Supreme Light (Arunachala).
Okay, best wishes for your going in intensive search of your real nature.
After having found it please send a nice postcard to us.:-)

Salazar said...

Vichara is "I am" and not "I am love" or "I am loving". That's the problem with all beginners, they cannot fathom what non-duality entails and even though Bhagavan and Michael has explained it countless times, it is still misunderstood.

Salazar said...

Just to clarify, while doing vichara, phenomena can and often will be perceived including emotions like love, however for the proper way of vichara one needs to be aware that these phenomena, including love, are not self and have to be discarded!

The love for self or bhakti as Michael explains it, is the love for self ONLY and is NOT the love an ego/mind perceives. That love is suttarivu and of course cannot be self.

And the love for self is not "I love self", that is maya, it is self it-self.

Salazar said...

Asun's biggest problem is her arrogance (what is true for most including me). Otherwise she has to conceit that she's mistaken and that she's not only misinterpreting what Michael commented but also Bhagavan's teachings. Her idea of vichara is sheer nonsense but I am not surprised by it, vichara is mostly misunderstood even by self-proclaimed Jnanis like Ed Muzika who posted a very ignorant description of how to do vichara on his website.

The funny thing is Muzika suggests to read chapter 7 of Sadhu Om's book but this guy has not grasped anything what Sadhu Om wrote.

I see that most with female spiritual aspirants. The confuse the ego love with the love sages talk about. One has nothing to do with the other one. Ego love is, as everything perceived by the ego, distorted and tainted.

Sanjay Lohia said...

We need to follow the path Bhagavan has shown us calmly, steadily and unhurriedly but persistently

Michael James recently wrote to me:

On this spiritual path slow and steady wins the race. Bhagavan is a very gentle doctor, so though he is performing a very major operation, he does it as gently and undramatically as possible, and hence to cooperate with him we need to follow the path he has shown us calmly, steadily and unhurriedly but persistently.

My reflection: ‘we need to follow the path he has shown us calmly, steadily and unhurriedly but persistently’ – this is the message which needs reiteration. Bhagavan is performing a very major operation. What is this operation? He is trying to remove ego. This ego is like a malignant tumour in us which will make us die again and again. Some cancerous tumour can kill us once, but this ego will kill us repeatedly. So this ego is more dangerous than even cancer.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
you say "On this spiritual path slow and steady wins the race".
There seems to be no subject in this sentence. Or are the adjectives "slow and steady" - perhaps used as nouns - meant as the subject ? Or is only the word "Bhagavan" missing ? Who is the winner ?

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anadi-ananta, yes, ‘slow and study’ is the subject in this sentence: ‘On the spiritual path slow and steady wins the race’. I believe ‘slow and steady’ is also acting as a noun phrase, even though I do not understand much of grammar.

Who is the winner? The one who is slow and steady. So all we need to do is to practise Bhagavan’s path slowly, and steadily and unhurriedly, and we will win the race. Why unhurriedly? It is because our hurry to win the race will make us anxious. Our hurry for results will disappoint us because Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes. So we will win the race only when we are near the finishing line. If we are still far off from the finishing line, it will take a while before we will be able to cross the finishing line.

So as Bhagavan often said, we need to be patient but persistent in our practice.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
thanks, as you say both adjectives ‘slow and steady’ are the subject because they are used together as a/one noun.

Sanjay Lohia said...

We mix up that sense of immortality with the sense 'I am this body', and we live our lives as if we are going to live forever (part one)

A friend: Bhagavan had that intense fear of death that led to his realising his self. That intense fear could be quite a motivating factor. If we are really scared of death, we could be motivated to go deep in our vichara. What do you say?

Michael: When Bhagavan had that fear of death, his response was to turn within. But for most people when they get the fear of death, their mind doesn’t turn within. Their mind turns outwards to cling to what is most dear to them. For example, for people who nearly drowned or came very close to death, they say that all the events of their life are replayed through their memory. It is because at that moment the mind is clinging to what is familiar, clinging to the identity.

Bhagavan wasn’t concerned about his identity. He was concerned about his existence – ‘when this ego dies, will I also die?’ Just because he was not concerned about anything but feared to lose his own existence, he clung to his existence – to what he actually is – and thereby ego was annihilated and what remained was that pure awareness or Arunachala or God or whatever we choose to call it.

We all know this body is going to die one day, but most of us are preoccupied with the small concerns of life that we don’t think much about death. Sometimes things happen which bring us face to face with the imminence of death, and we get at that time great fear. But most of the time we forget about death. Most of us live as if we are going to live forever. We plan how we are going to save money for our retirement as if it is all going to go on forever. But we know it is going to come to an end.

Our ability to switch off the thought of death is a type of maya. It is very difficult for us to come to terms with the fact that we are going to die. Inwardly we know we are immortal. Something is there which tells us we are not going to die. Even though our mind may say we are going to die, inwardly there is that sense of immortality. So we mix up that sense of immortality with the sense 'I am this body', and we live our lives as if we are going to live forever. So we impose the immortality of our real nature upon this body and we live as if this body is going to live forever. We don’t conduct our lives as if we are never going to die.

What we are is immortal, so we are not going to die. The body is going to die, but we are not this body. As Bhagavan often said, we are the permanent screen of pure awareness on which all phenomena appear. So our whole life is just a movie on a screen. What is the screen? The screen is the fundamental awareness of our own existence, pure awareness ‘I am’. That is what is real, and that is what we actually are. That is immortal. The screen is always there whether the pictures are projected on the screen or not.

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-13 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: Michael James discusses the practice of self-investigation (01:16)

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
many thanks for your transcription of Michael's recent video (2020-06-13 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK).
When you write "We don’t conduct our lives as if we are never going to die."
I think you wanted to write "We conduct...".

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anadi-ananta, yes, I should be ‘We conduct our lives as if we are never going to die’. Thank you.

Salazar said...

Here is Asun's quote about vichara: " [...] In the practice of vichara the love flowing out from the happiness that is pure awareness [...]"

That sounds nice for most but it is not truly vichara. Who is experiencing "happiness that is pure awareness"? That can only be the ego. Thus it is the ego imagining the happiness of pure awareness and as such it cannot be pure awareness. That is not vichara, pure awareness IS and it cannot be experienced with any attributes including love or happiness. That is only the ego talking.

It's of course anybodies choice what they do and I am not saying that to feel being right, what would be the gain of that, but to give people the opportunity to avoid traps like these on the path of vichara.

Actually I am surprised that this is even an argument. It is one of the fundamentals of Bhagavan's teachings that ANY experience is the ego, including experiences of happiness and love. That is an undeniable fact and it is ridiculous that one has to re-state that.

Now I do not blame Asun in being confused, we all have our learning curve, however to imply I intentionally distort Bhagavan's teachings is a serious accusation and that is delusional talk. Sad fact is that she seems to have at least a little bamboozled one of the participants, good ol' anandi-ananta, who has his own spiritual prejudices :-)

Interestingly she never picked up certain points, like why only the ego can experience love and happiness, but just unilaterally dismisses what I am saying. It seems deep down she knows she's wrong but her ego cannot allow that thus that extreme reaction to my comments.

Salazar said...

If one has become comfortable with a certain process and belief, like the ego feeling happiness and love [in combination with vichara] and confuse that with pure awareness, then it is not a surprise that one cannot allow the destruction of that cherished belief and therefore one lashes out.

Alas that is the process to maturity and the sooner the ego can surrender to that the sooner it will gain more clarity.

Salazar said...

The more one investigates self or pure awareness [in being self] the more one has a first hand experience of what it truly is. That knowledge is irrefutable and usually I suppose that others who claim doing vichara must have come to the same knowledge.

Michael says that he does not want to talk about his experiences and I can see why. It can, besides others, create false imaginations of how things are supposed to be.

Self is very subtle, so subtle that the mind cannot grasp it, literally and in imagination. It does not change. It has no particular quality. It is not bliss, nor love or happiness. A good description is of course by Bhagavan in Nan Yar. There he describes it in the way of what it is not. It is not happiness or love or hate or anything the mind can imagine or feel.

Now when we say Bhagavan is love then that refers to impersonal love and that is not experienced. Bhagavan, as self, never experienced love or happiness. He, as self, IS love. That paradoxical difference between being love and experiencing love can only be understood in silence.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
can love which is not experienced ever be true love ?
My answer: no
Of course we want to experience infinite happiness and love, because this (sat-chit-ananda) is just our real nature.

anadi-ananta said...

Being love cannot be something other than being aware of love.
And being aware of love cannot be anything other than experiencing love - if I am not badly mistaken.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, only the ego can experience love. So if you want to experience love then you have to remain the ego. However, since one dyad, love, cannot exist, as ego, without the other dyad, hate, you must also experience that.

You want to have the cake and eat it too! That means you want to be self-realized AS ego and you are not the first one who wants that.

Do not get confused with concepts like sat-chit-ananda. The ananda in sat-chit-ananda is not really bliss as experienced by a mind/ego but a profound (but subtle) peace.

anadi-ananta said...

In any case we must know our real nature whatever one may call it.:-)

Salazar said...

No anadi-ananta, being love is not being aware of love. Because there has to be an entity to be aware. That would be again the ego and as such maya.

Being love is self. There is nobody who is aware of self nor love. Unless you imagine the phantom-ego and then you are back in maya :-)

Vichara is being attentive of self, but there is no entity who is aware of self as Michael explained, it is self being self. It is ineffable, it IS.

Well, it seems your mind refuses to grasp the non-dual nature of self.

Salazar said...

"In any case we must know our real nature whatever one may call it."

Yes, and that real nature does not experience happiness or love. That real nature cannot experience anything otherwise it would be not real [nature] but an imagination of the ego/mind.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
you say "The ananda in sat-chit-ananda is not really bliss as experienced by a mind/ego but a profound (but subtle) peace."
Even the ego is destined to experience sat-chit-ananda because even ego is essentially nothing but sat-chit-ananda. And that exactly is reported by the highest teachings of Bhagavan Arunachala.
In the moment that ego experiences sat-chit-ananda of course it is immediately merged in it and ceases its seeming existence. And with that moment the story of ego/maya is over. :-)

Salazar said...

No anadi-ananta, the ego will NEVER EVER experience sat-chit-ananda, that is impossible. Again, you do not grasp the non-dual nature of self. And since that persists now for years I am not sure how that could change. It seems Asun is similar confused.

Salazar said...

There is ONLY self without a second. Why is that crucial statement by Bhagavan ignored? It points to the non-dual nature and there are not two [entities]. So one (ego) cannot EVER merge with another one (self). Why? There are NO two entities - it is impossible.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, it is obvious that you are ignoring many, many teaching statements by Bhagavan. Where is that idea coming from that ego could or would experience sat-chit-ananda?

Where on Earth did Bhagavan mention that or where did Michael mention that anywhere on this blog???

anadi-ananta said...

Why should not even self be considered as an entity ? Emptiness is nothing - fullness is the whole.
We as our real nature are only sat-chit ananda and as such we must certainly be aware of it because infinite being , awareness/knowledge and ananda/happiness/bliss are one and the same (self).

Salazar said...

No, self is not an entity. That is your main problem as for many other aspirants, they unconsciously transfer their "feeling" of being as an entity into self.

But I do not want to go into the definition of the term entity because it seems, as so many time before, that you are just blindly objecting to what I am saying based on what Bhagavan has taught.

So let's not jump from one concept to another, the main thing is that

our real nature cannot experience love and happiness!

anadi-ananta said...

That the non-dual nature of self cannot be comprehended by the mind and that there are not two [entities] is anyway undisputed.
Re. 'merger' you obviously don't want accept a metaphorical description.

Salazar said...

An entity per definition is an object. Self is not an object. That again is one of the fundamental teaching statements by Bhagavan.

It seems anadi-ananta, that you are ignoring many fundamental teachings statements by Bhagavan. Without those you must go astray.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, if you do not dispute that there are not two entities, why are you insisting then on a merger what can only happen with two entities???

Why are you insisting on a metaphorical description which is quite limited and, in case of you and others, planted false ideas into their minds?

anadi-ananta said...

The statement that our real nature cannot experience love and happiness is clearly nonsense - as I tried to explain above.
Now the mind is worn out enough. Have a good lunch !

Salazar said...

Okay let's summarize:

Self or what we really are does NOT experience bliss, love and happiness.

Ego can NEVER EVER experience sat-chit-ananda.


Two statements that you, anadi-ananta, do not believe. So please refer to Bhagavan (from GVK or elsewhere) or Michael from his blog what could support your claim. I am all ears ....

Salazar said...

Do not run away when it is getting interesting! Where did you explain that our real nature can experience happiness? I did not see that. It is an idea of your mind at best.

If you can refer to any of Bhagavan's work where it states that self can EXPERIENCE happiness I'll transfer 1,000,000 Rupees into your account :-)

Your chance to make some money :-)

anadi-ananta said...

In philosophy the term 'entity' signifies being i.e. a subject.
Its origin is from late Latin (from esse 'be').

Salazar said...

Seriously, that's what I get dealing with OCD.

Salazar said...

What have Asun and anadi-ananta in common? Both cling at wrong core beliefs and that belief is so strong that their mind cannot allow anything contrary to accept it as the truth because it would shatter their fundamental belief system.

The ego is a sneaky fellow and the master of deception. The ego uses the strong desire for love to deceive reality and that is not an easy obstacle to overcome. Uh oh, no love? The ego needs to have a carrot (like love) in front of it, it makes it feel all fuzzy and good. Alas that is maya at its best.

Now there is nothing wrong with ego love, and it can be even a preliminary thing as in "I love Krishna" or something like that. But when it comes down to vichara one has to discard it as any other phenomena what is experienced by the mind/ego. If not then one will stay in samsara forever.


Salazar said...

Bhagavan's standard for reality, for that what we really are or self: "That alone is real which exists by itself, which reveals itself by itself and which is eternal and unchanging." From Maharshi's Gospel


Alright, so how does happiness and love fit in there? Does happiness and love exist by itself? No, because it comes and goes. Happiness and love does not reveal itself by itself, it is experienced by the ego. Is love and happiness eternal and unchanging?

No. Again, it comes and it goes. Thus it is not self and is therefore ego.

That is a quite logical approach.

Now since that what we really are or what is real (as defined by Bhagavan above) does not change, how then could ego experience sat-chit-ananda or self? How can the un-real (ego) experience the real (self)? Since what we are doesn't change, how can a change like an experience result into that what doesn't change?

Can that what doesn't change change? Of course not. That's why the ego can never ever experience reality.

Again, when that what we are doesn't change, how could we change into that? Impossible. Any change or experience is an imagination by mind and samsara.

All the above can be gleaned just from the simple sentence by Bhagavan taken from Maharshi's Gospel.

It is logical and irrefutable, even in conceptual terms.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
re. your questions and answers "...so how does happiness and love fit in there? Does happiness and love exist by itself? No, because it comes and goes. Happiness and love does not reveal itself by itself, it is experienced by the ego. Is love and happiness eternal and unchanging?
No. Again, it comes and it goes. Thus it is not self and is therefore ego."

My reply is: unfinite happiness and love is just another name of "That alone is real which exists by itself, which reveals itself by itself and which is eternal and unchanging." (Your quotation from Maharshi's Gospel).

anadi-ananta said...

correction: infinite happiness

Sanjay Lohia said...

We mix up that sense of immortality with the sense 'I am this body', and we live our lives as if we are going to live forever (part two)

In continuation of my previous comment:

We are immortal, but when we rise as ego we experience ourself as this mortal body. Ego is chit-jada-granthi. It is a confused mixture formed by the entanglement of awareness and what is jada (non-aware). So this ego is complete confusion – we take the qualities of our real nature and superimpose it on this body.

So what should be our attitude towards death? It’s good to think about death. It’s good to remind ourself about the mortality of this body because that will put our whole life in perspective. Most of us try to live our life trying to accumulate wealth or friends or position in society or status. We identify strongly with the person we seem to be. We have memories and we identify with those memories. We identify with our life story. So if we think about death, we remind ourself of the mortality of the body. It will put our insignificant little life in perspective.

Generally, our identification with this person is so strong. So the thought of death, if we think about it in the correct way, will help us detach ourself from the person that we seem to be. The more we can detach ourself from this person by reminding ourself of the mortality of this person, the easier it will be for us to detach from other things attached to this person. So the thought of death can be potentially very beneficial on the spiritual path. So we should often remember our mortality.

But also we shouldn’t dwell only on our mortality because what is mortal? It is only this body. We dwell upon the mortality of this body only to detach ourself from this body. But we can detach ourself from this body only by clinging to what is real: that is, ‘I am’. That which is immortal alone will save us from the state of mortality. So long as we identify ourself with a body, we are mortal. If we cling to that which is real, which is shining in us as ‘I am’, that’s the way to overcome mortality.

There is this Vedic prayer:

Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

What is immortal? What is sat? What is jyoti (light)? That is ‘I’. So by clinging to ‘I’, we are leaving behind what is unreal. We are leaving behind the tamas, the ignorance, and we are leaving behind mortality. So that is the aim of our life.

• Edited extract from the video: 2020-06-13 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: Michael James discusses the practice of self-investigation (01:16)

Note: Meaning of the Vedic prayer quoted above:

1: Om, (O Lord) Keep me not in (the phenomenal world of) unreality, but make me go towards the reality (of eternal self),
2: Keep me not in (the ignorant state of) darkness, but make me go towards the light (of spiritual knowledge),
3: Keep me not in (the world of) mortality, but make me go towards the world of immortality (of self-realization),
4: Om, Peace, Peace, Peace.

• Meaning taken from the internet.


Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, alright, that is another name and you believe that. Well, I said too that self is love so we are in agreement. But we are talking about self EXPERIENCING love and happiness what is entirely different.

You must agree, and that goes along with Asun's claim of "love" while doing vichara, that this love we, as an ego, experience is changing, it does not stay. Therefore it is not self but ego. That is all what I am saying. And we know that from direct experience, love and happiness comes and goes.

If you would pay attention I said that the love of the ego and the love of self are entirely different and cannot be compared.

So do you want to earn 1 Million Rupees? I am not kidding.


Self or what we really are does NOT experience bliss, love and happiness.

Ego can NEVER EVER experience sat-chit-ananda.


You have still not showed where Bhagavan or Michael are supporting your claim that the above is not correct.

The crucial point I am making and what points to the non-dual nature of self is that self cannot EXPERIENCE love and happiness. It may BE it but does NOT experience it.

That is what Bhagavan has taught.

Salazar said...

That's one of the crucial and fundamental teaching points of Bhagavan, that only the ego or an individual is experiencing, the ego confuses itself to be the doer and experiencer.

Self is also called the subject, but only to demonstrate that there is only one self without a second one. If there is only one, how could that one have any experience? With what? It is ONE! In order to experience anything there has to be something else besides "I". But there is not with self. There is only self.

It seems people say, yeah yeah, self is one, bla bla bla ..... and overlook what that truly means and therefore ignorance, like yours anadi-ananta, creeps up.

Experience happens only in the delusional imagination of the mind/ego.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
regarding your today's statement at 14:41 "The crucial point I am making and what points to the non-dual nature of self is that self cannot EXPERIENCE love and happiness. It may BE it but does NOT experience it.",

what you consider as elementary or even irreconcilable difference is perhaps only
a mere semantic one:
If one experiences himself as love and happiness does not (s)he simultaneously be love and happiness ? Therefore possibly experiencing herself/himself as love and happiness and being only love and happiness are not different but represent the same content.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, no, not really. Again, self is not experiencing anything at all. You are playing with semantics. That is of course not enough.

You do not grasp the ramifications of self being one. How can One experience anything? It is impossible. One is one, there is nothing else. That should be even possible to be understood conceptually.

Also, why do you cling so vehemently at a certain definition? You may want to explore why this is so important for your ego. Why this extreme crave for love? That desire for love has to be discarded before you even can come close to self. It's pure ego.

Sure, we all want to be happy, however that desire is, as any desire, like for fame or sex, something what needs to be discarded because it is EGO. As long as you desire love as long you'll be ego.

Vairagya includes that one discards [desire for] love and happiness. That is a must and crucial understanding. Vichara takes care of that. Unless you are deluding yourself like Asun who is "love" :-)

Salazar said...

Love and happiness are terms of the mind. They are thoughts. Those, and all other terms and concepts, do NOT exist in self. There is simply no love and happiness in self. Why? Because they are one dyad and can only exist with the other dyads, hate and unhappiness. It's duality.

Self is beyond the dyads, there is no love nor hate in self. It simply IS. Impossible to comprehend for the mind/ego. Thus the need for vichara.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
when you say "There is simply no love and happiness in self" you evidently ignore that self is also called 'sat-chit-ananda' which is our own true nature.
The word ananda means 'happiness', 'joy' or 'bliss'. Thus sat-chit-ananda means 'being-consciousness-bliss', that is, being which is both consciousness and bliss, or consciousness which is both being and bliss, or bliss which is both being and consciousness.

Salazar said...

sat-chit-ananda is a concept. It is not self. It is a definition of self by the mind within dual parameters. It cannot EVER describe the truth.

I am afraid that the concept of sat-chit-ananda, in your case, does more harm than good. Especially the bliss part. As I said before, it is not bliss, but profound but subtle peace. Bliss is only experienced by the mind. Bliss comes and goes, thus it cannot be self.

The truth is not terms like sat-chit-ananda, that is just words, the truth is vichara only.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
you state "Bliss comes and goes, thus it cannot be self."
Ananda is bliss. Because ananda is infinite happiness, bliss is never absent.

anadi-ananta said...

Sanjay,
thanks again for your transcription of 15 June 2020 at 12:29.
When you write "But also we shouldn’t dwell only on our mortality because what is mortal? It is only this body." the question arise:
Is only the gross body mortal or are all the five sheaths mortal ?

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